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About Barbara Borden

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Barbara Borden

Barbara Borden has been drumming since the age of ten---a passion that has taken her along many musical avenues: performing and recording artist collaborating with many musicians, dancers, authors, storytellers, actors, poets and healers; member of the band Alive! (eight years); composer (Beauty in the Beat, All Hearts Beating, Lady of the Serpent Skirt); solo performer (her "percussion play," She Dares to Drum); drumming for peace ---1994 performing in refugee camps and peace concerts in the former Yugoslavia and, more recently, in peace actions in the U.S.

Ms. Borden is active in the educational aspects of drumming, facilitating drum circles and councils, workshops/clinics, retreats, private and group sessions and mentor programs. Borden has been awarded numerous educational and artistic grants.

The healing power of music has always been important to Borden. She has developed her own healing arts practice for groups and individuals combining drumming, sound, chanting and toning. In 2001, Borden was initiated in Zimbawe by African healer, "Mandaza" Kandemwa.

Born into a Jewish immigrant family, Barbara was the kid sister of the show business Borden Twins, who performed on TV shows from the 1950s through the '80s. Given a drumset by her sisters, Barbara soon established herself as a hotshot "girl drummer," performing at the Hollywood Bowl and in nightclubs in L.A. and San Francisco. Marriage and self-doubt led her to abandon her burgeoning career for "normal life." In the '70s, when the marriage ended, Barbara found herself in the middle of the feminist cultural revolution as the drummer in a women's jazz band, Alive! After eight years of worldwide touring, her five-women musical family fell apart, and Barbara once again had to face the conflict between her love of drumming and her doubts about her ability to keep the beat on her own.

Since then, Barbara has become a citizen of the world, traveling and drumming in the former Yugoslavia in the midst of civil war and in Zimbabwe at a time of brutal dictatorship and economic collapse. To people in both countries, amid their suffering, Barbara brought joy with drumbeat diplomacy. In 2008, in the wake of the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations over Russia’s military stance toward Georgia, Barbara traveled to its small neighboring republic, Khakassia, in southern Siberia where she performed with her band, “Fools Gold” and was initiated into shamanism by Tatiana Kobezhikova in this beautiful, rural land.

In the United States she also expanded the circle of her connectedness. For a decade and a half, Barbara has taught the art of drumming at The Redwoods, a retirement community, helping individuals emerge from their inner exile and express themselves among their peers. A timeless spiritual dimension of her art opened up when Barbara gave a heart-shaped drum that had been made especially for her to a woman drummer of the Suquamish tribe who had responded deeply to the sound of the Heart Drum.

For more information about Barbara Borden, visit Barbara's website BarbaraBorden.com



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