Entrain's Drums for Peace
Peace and love are not outdated monikers of a past cultural movement; they are the two essential ingredients of any healthy culture. Drums for Peace, the Entrain show that will be held this Saturday at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, is a show with a mission. Marking the 40th anniversary of the summer of love, it aims to spread peace and love through rhythm and music. The concert also features video projections and a light show. The Black Brook Singers, composed of members of the Aquinnah-based Wampanoag Tribe, will open the performance.
Entrain has been playing gigs on Martha's Vineyard since 1993, with a focus on positive, infectious rhythms and multicultural fusion. Drums for Peace was spearheaded by Entrain front man Tom Major. "Entrain's music is based on a lot of different musical styles. We try to bring into focus that we are all one people with one planet," he says.
Entrain designs its music to emanate bright, positive energy. They focus on creating accessible songs that draw elements from reggae, rock, ska, funk, jazz, blues, and a variety of traditional drumming styles. "This is not a heavy concert," Mr. Major says. "It's a light, fun show."
There is a peculiar yet pervasive belief which holds that people of different ethnicities or nationalities are somehow competing with each other. The idea that our differences are our strengths is something that Entrain attempts to amplify through its blend of many musical styles. "Movements of peace and unity go up and down," Mr. Major says. "It seems that there is a larger shift happening. People with good values are coming out and speaking about the challenges that face us. There's an ebb and flow involved with every movement."
The prominent peace activist Colman McCarthy impressed upon Mr. Major the importance of music as a means of social change. As director of the Center for Teaching Peace, based in Washington D.C., Mr. McCarthy is an advocate of actively teaching peace to youth, stating, "The most revolutionary thing anybody can do is to raise good, honest, and generous children who will question the answers of people who say the answer is violence."
"One thing that Colman McCarthy told me when I talked to him was how important musicians are towards getting the word out about peace," Mr. Major says. "Music and songs can be very influential, especially towards children."
Entrain's mission to create positive change extends to how they operate. In an effort to help diminish greenhouse gasses, they recently converted their touring van to run on vegetable oil. Diesel engines were originally designed to run on peanut oil, and with a little modification can run on a large variety of plant-based oils.