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Barbara BordenA Passionate Rhythm of Right Work:
Meet World-Class Drummer, Barbara Borden

By Leni Miller, Huffington Post

When we are truly in our right work, there is a powerful and passionate rhythm to our work. We are in synchronicity with the most basic and personal beat that comes from our hearts.

Barbara Borden is a woman and world class professional drummer, and definitely, in her right work!

What is right work?

Right work is when our strongest talents, skills and abilities, our core values as people, and our current top priorities relative to life, are aligned with the work we do.

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Barbara Borden

Some people told drummer Barbara Borden that her drumming was “pretty good for a girl.” But Borden says that she was fortunate to have a family who gave her a lot more encouragement than that. Photo courtesy of Barbara Borden.

Arts: Transmitting love
Barbara Borden moves to the beat of her own drum
By Ellen Shehadeh, Pacific Sun

All of the drummers that Barbara Borden saw as a child were men—except for one little boy, a Mouseketeer named Cubby. Even so, at age 5 while shopping one day with her mother at Sears Roebuck, Borden spied a drum and insisted on having it.

At age 70, Borden—drummer, drum teacher and performing artist—knows for certain that “drumming is my path.” The large drum set that occupies a prominent place in the living room of the woodsy Mill Valley home that she shares with her life partner, Naomi Newman, is a monument to her life’s work.

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Barbara Borden

Barbara Borden (second from right) performs with Alive!, a San Francisco women’s jazz group, in a scene from ‘Keeper of the Beat,’ a documentary by David L. Brown. Provided by David L. Brown

Documentary focuses on female drumming pioneer Barbara Borden
By Vicki Larson, Marin IJ

In a way, Barbara Borden had no choice but to become a percussionist.

“People ask me, ‘Why did you choose drums?’ and my response, and it’s really true, is the drums chose me,” Borden says.

They chose her early, too, as a young girl, at a time when girls didn’t really play drums. But it was an exceptionally good match. Drumming has taken Borden on a journey she never would have anticipated, which is joyously recounted in “Keeper of the Beat: A Woman’s Journey into the Heart of Drumming,” a documentary by filmmaker David L. Brown that airs on KQED this Sunday.

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Alive! in Berkeley: All-women jazz combo comes to town
By Andrew Gilbert, Berkeleyside

BB_aliveAlive! wasn’t the first top-flight all-women combo in jazz. Going back to at least the 1940s, when the International Sweethearts of Rhythm earned the respect of their male peers and discerning audiences, excellent female musicians have come together to swing and improvise. But the women in Alive!, who mark the 40th anniversary of the band’s founding with a reunion concert Sunday at Freight & Salvage, boldly trod onto new territory when they came together in the mid-1970s.

Featuring vocalist Rhiannon, percussionist Carolyn Brandy, bassist/cellist Susanne DiVincenza, drummer Barbara Borden and the late pianist Janet Small (who passed away in 2010), Alive! captured jazz’s zeitgeist with a repertoire focusing on original compositions. Inspired by Brandy’s rapidly accelerating passion for Afro-Cuban rituals and rhythms, the band incorporated Cuban grooves at a time when more jazz musicians were exploring Caribbean cultural currents. The inimitable Tammy Hall, who can often be found accompanying the region’s best jazz singers, is the band’s new pianist.

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New Age Voice Magazine
THE DRUMMING GODDESSES
A new generation of women percussionists celebrates rhythm and the drum, in spirit and musicality
By Carl McColma

Fifteen years ago, if the average person on the street were asked to describe New Age music, he or she would probably try to explain the sound of George Winston, Steven Halpern, or Kitaro. Soothing, atmospheric, ambient, relaxing – these would be the words used to try to capture the feel of New Age. An unsympathetic listener might also accuse the music of being boring, monotonous, unmelodic – and lacking a beat.

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Barbara Borden

Drumming pioneer Barbara Borden of Mill Valley in a scene from “Keeper of the Beat”, a documentary by David L. Brown

She’s Got The Beat
Mill Valley’s Barbara Borden uses drums to create community, heal
By Vicki Larson, Marin IJ

Drumming has taken Barbara Borden on a journey she never would have anticipated,which is joyously recounted in“Keeper of the Beat: A Woman’s Journey into the Heart of Drumming,” a documentary by filmmaker David L. Brown that airs on KQED this Sunday.

When the documentary premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival last October both were surprised by the reaction. “The world premiere was the most raucous, enthusiastic, joyous crowd I’ve ever experienced in 40 years of film-making,” says Brown, who met Borden at the Redwoods when he was filming a documentary on the Mill Valley retirement community’s anti-war activists and she was leading a drumming circle. “She’s more than just a nice, talented person; she’s really quite an extraordinary subject for a documentary.”

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6 Films That Will Inspire You
Amazing stories of resilience and transformation from the Esalen Inspirational Film Festival
By Mathew Gilbert

Esalen, a storied getaway perched above the thundering waves of the central California coast, was the setting for the second annual Esalen Inspirational Film Festival. While the resort itself is a powerful motivator for self-reflection and renewal, the festival played its part with a week of memorable images, skilled story telling, and constant reminders that human beings are remarkably resilient. Woven together by Corinne Bourdeau and Mary Murphy of the film promotion company 360 Degree Communications, the event featured an eclectic mix of films and panels and plenty of spirited conversations with filmmakers and film aficionados.

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The Beat Goes On
By Robert Render Harrison

SEE ‘KEEPER OF THE Beat’,” a crew member at this fall’s Mill Valley Film Festival told me, “it’s about this amazing woman drummer who lives in Mill Valley. It’s incredible!” Actually, I had come to the festival late this year, and viewed only one movie—”Cheba”, an impressive first feature from French director  Francoise Charpiat, which won the Audience Favorite in the World Cinema category—and I was wondering what to see next. I’ve long been a devotee of true reality cinema—not that pseudoreality crap that degrades TV these days. “Keeper of the Beat” (“KoB”)  is about the life of former jazz drummer Barbara Borden. I say “former” because she has expanded way beyond just drumming with jazz musicians and singers.

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Filming Barbara and a Shaman in Siberia
By Robert Render Harrison

SEE ‘KEEPER OF THE Beat’,” a crew member at this fall’s Mill Valley Film Festival told me, “it’s about this amazing woman drummer who lives in Mill Valley. It’s incredible!” Actually, I had come to the festival late this year, and viewed only one movie—”Cheba”, an impressive first feature from French director  Francoise Charpiat, which won the Audience Favorite in the World Cinema category—and I was wondering what to see next. I’ve long been a devotee of true reality cinema—not that pseudoreality crap that degrades TV these days. “Keeper of the Beat” (“KoB”)  is about the life of former jazz drummer Barbara Borden. I say “former” because she has expanded way beyond just drumming with jazz musicians and singers.

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Shooting with Shamans
By David L Brown

Awaiting take off from Moscow’s Sheremetievo Airport (homeward bound after 16 days that seemed like 16 weeks), I’m thinking about the 10 days spent filming my friend, drummer Barbara Borden. The footage will be part of Keeper of the Beat, my feature doc on the life and music of Barbara Borden, who has been participating in an extraordinary workshop on ecology-based shamanism and sacred places in the Russian republic of Khakassia, a breathtakingly beautiful spot in southwestern Siberia.

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