Singing is so important in Powwows. The drum is the heartbeat of the circle, the spark that brings everything to life. As drum groups sing they provide the arena with the prayers and the beat needed to dance. Most drum groups have between 6 and 12 drummers on a crew. They all sing and drum. Songs have 4 leads and subsequent courses. All songs are different, they are often sung in the different tribal language of the drum group. This can vary all the different kinds of songs, as some are for prayer, some are love songs, and some are just wicked beats aimed at throwing off dancers. It is said that the dancers are actually dancing against the drum their competition is to see who can best one another. Weather the dancer jams out to the songs or the drummers get the better and make them overstep the beat, it is fun to see the combination pan out. This is a list of drum groups who are my favorite drums this year; please watch the videos to hear the different styles.

1. Northern Cree

Northern Cree is a drum group from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, they are made up of members from the treaty 6 nations of Canada. Their latest album is even Grammy nominated. This drum group is one of the best groups as everyone loves to jam out to their great music.

2. Bear Creek

Bear Creek .

3. Young Spirit

Young Spirit
(They make such beautiful songs also, the young boy in the bottom left corner, who is a part of the group is so adorable!!)

4. The Boyz

The Boyz

5. Blacklodge


6. Midnite Express

Midnite Express

7. Stoney Park

Stoney Park

8. Whitefish Jrs

Whitefish Jrs

Some how I started writing this post with the intention of having a top 4; it ended up being 6, then 7, and finally 8. The top 8 are purely subjective: I chose all northern drum groups, because I love listening and dancing to northern songs as a Jingle Dress Dancer. I am not saying that this is the top in order from best to worst, all of these drum groups are amazing. I hope you enjoy! If you do, please leave a comment (let me know who was your favorite) and feel free to look any of them up through Spotify, iTunes or head to a powwow nearby!


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