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In the Media | Who's playing a Blue Heron Drum? | Testimonials | Other Links

Blue Heron Drums in the Media:

Video (above): Bill Anderson making a drum. Bill shaves the hair off a goat hide.

Bringing Out Rhythm
Mining Gazette, Houghton, MI
November 10, 2011
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Blue Heron Rhythm Experiment: Sharing the Art of Drumming
August 25, 2011
Mining Gazette, Houghton MI
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Bill Anderson of Blue Heron Drums featured on VIP Chautauqua
Cable 8 News
A weekly feature of Time Warner Cable 8 News focusing on Very Interesting People (VIP) from the community


Hosted Rhythm Events & Workshops

"Bill can be credited as one of the "founders" of hand drumming in our area and has helped promote percussion to make our region strong for organized rhythm circles." - Jamestown Thunder Drum & Dance Circle member

"Thank you so much for all you do with our folks here at Oak House. The guys absolutely love drumming. Please thank your crew for making the art exhibit very remarkable." - Terry Sayatovich, Program Director, Oak House Inc.

"Several years ago I asked Bill for some instruction as to how to build drums. He agreed to do so. As a teacher he was thorough, patient, and hands on. Bill's love for drumming and his craft was, and is, infectious. I have continued building drums since then and Bill has always graciously answered any questions I have. In all respects Bill is a true teacher." - Doug Patterson, St. Francis University, Loretto PA

"Bill is one of those teachers who come along at the right time and can change the course of your life. Whether it is drumming or drum making he knows when you need guidance and when you need to figure it out yourself. We all miss him here, but he left a piece of himself behind in the new drum maker and group of talented drummers - all thanks to his patient teaching." - Sue Schwartz, Drum Maker, Jamestown PA


Padded Bags

"I own a store in Ithaca, N.Y. called Toko Imports. I have been selling the hand made djembe bags for many years. I may have been the first retail outlet for Blue Heron djembe jackets as they have come to be known. These bags are of excellent quality and the people who make them stand behind their craftsmanship 100%. There is an artistic character to each bag. This is not an assembly line or sweat shop operation. There is individual attention and a personal approach to each and every bag. I keep a good supply on hand of about 5 to 6 different sizes. Even people who are not buying a drum (or bag) often comment as to how attractive they are. When a person selects their own special drum they most often want their own special drum bag. Even though I offer other factory-made bags for 30-40 % less, I sell Blue Heron bags at least ten to one over factory bags. Your drum, and you deserve a Blue Heron djembe jacket." - Toko Tom owner of Toko Imports, Ithaca, N.Y.

"I love Bill's bags. I have bought a bunch of them for my students and they hold up well. Beautiful too. All of my duns and djembes travel in them. Personally, I like his djembe bags better than, TKL, REMO, Galaxy, and two others I can't think of the names for at the moment. I did like DrumSkulls bags as well, but Bill's are cheaper and he makes them himself." -Ed Haggard, The Love Drums

"Dear Bill, I'm writing you this letter to let you know how pleased I am with the quality of your drum bags. I've been in the drum making business for well over a decade and I've never come across drum bags of higher quality than yours. The prototype drum bag you sent me for my newest djembe design fit like a glove. Considering all you had to design it with was a couple of measurements and a picture, I'm astonished at the preciseness of the design. Perfect! Thanks again and I look forward to doing business with you for years to come." - John Wells, Mystic Rhythms

"Bill has excellent bags. He makes them from upholstery fabric with a water resistant lining inside. They look great and are extremely durable (I saw one of his first bags which was twenty years old and still holding up)."
- Tom Kondas (teacher, performer, drummaker, importer), Djembe Kan Percussion

"I have been selling Blue Heron drum bags for the past 12 years I think they are the best drum bags made. I give a lifetime repair or replace guarantee on the bags and I have never had to give anyone a new bag. Also they will make me custom bags to fit my custom drums." - Conrad Kubiak, owner of Spirit in the wood Drum Co.

"Bill Anderson crafts the finest drums, drum bags, and drum straps around. I have seen no finer than Bill's craftsmanship!!!" - T.R. McKotch, Drum Teacher/Performer

"Thanks for the beautiful bag! It fits just right! I have had at least 10 different Djembe bags...your's could easily be the best!...I stopped carrying djembe bags because I could not find stylish, affordable, durable bags. Your's fit the look...I've had a chance to show off your djembe bags and brag on you being wonderful craftsman, a trustworthy merchant, maniac drummer, and generally good guy." - Paul Harvey

"Thank You!!! The bag is absolutely beautiful - it couldn't be more perfect!!! It fits the Djembe to a T!!! It means a lot to me to be able to get the ideal Medicine Bag for my Djembe!" -Sue Spencer, Drummer



"I am a hand drum instructor and workshop facilitator who owns djembe drums made by Toca, Remo and others and have found that the highest quality hand made drums are built by Bill Anderson of Blue Heron. His drums are made of "real" wood shells and animal skins. I've purchased over a dozen djembes from Bill and can say that these drums have been used by kids, teens, special needs adults and seniors and have been put to the test of durability through the years. Bill's drums are the BEST quality drums I have used and are backed by the best craftsman I know in the industry." - Rich Schuler, Drum Teacher

"Once again Bill Anderson at Blue Heron has crafted a magical high end Djembe for me!!! It's made out of Iroko wood and a goat skin head from the Ivory Coast. This drum has a very wide range between the low tones and slap tones, which is very uncommon for a drum to have a range of this degree." - T.R. McKotch, Drum Teacher/Performer

"I first met Bill from Blue Heron Drums in 2002, when my band Slo-mo first came to the Blue Heron music festival in Sherman New York. We have been back to the festival every year since, but in 2007 on the first day of the festival I stopped in to say hi to Bill in his vendor booth. As soon as he saw me, he had a big smile and said "I have your Congas". This surprised me because as a middle eastern percussionist I owned no Latin or African drums. Bill pointed to the Congas which did look strikingly beautiful to me. Once I hit them, I knew I couldn't live without having that sound in my percussion arsenal. I LOVE my Blue Heron Congas. In addition to sounding great live, they record like a dream.

"More recently, I found that I needed an African djembe for a new musical project I was embarking on. I scoured the Philadelphia PA (home base) area for a drum that would fit the situation with no luck. It was late fall and I wanted to have the djembe before New Year's. I had recalled playing some djembes that I liked the sound of at Bill's booth the previous summer. Nice deep fundamental lows as well as awesome crack. I contacted Bill at Blue Heron Drums and discussed my needs. Much to my delight there were many options of which I could choose including rope color, bag style and color as well as a drum hat for protection during live use. My new Djembe has become an integral part of my live percussion setup. I LOVE my Blue Heron Djembe & get many positive compliments on it when I play out. I am in full appreciation of the Latin & African soundscape that Bill and Blue Heron Drums have helped me to develop." - Hoagy Wing, percussionist for Slo-Mo



"I had a client in yesterday afternoon who has asked me to help her prep for double-knee replacement surgery the end of January. I decided to bring out one of your rattles yesterday and use it to finish off the session—she quickly sunk into the experience and the soft vibration really helped her connect to her heritage (she is of Native American descent). We used it along with my singing bowl above and around her knees and I found the energy to connect beautifully there. My thanks to you for my newfound healing tool." -Traditional Healer

Other Links:

Great Blue Heron Music Festival
Sherman, NY

Keweenaw Community Drum Project
Keweenaw Peninsula, MI