women drummers of katumba and women of google
Drumming for Google!
By Leigh-Angel
Tue 16 October, 2018

We were super excited when Wonder London contacted us with news of a big (but very secret) client wanting to book us for a corporate event. Intrigued (and racking our brains) we began preparing drums and drummers for the trip down to London…

Never did we think it would be Google!

Arriving at Excel conference centre in London early Monday afternoon, our band spent the rest of the day rehearsing to precise cues of voiceovers and videos. These digital installations were to interweave with our drumming band’s performance – without a glitch. This was for Google, after all!

After a nervous night sleep, suddenly it was Tuesday, performance day! Ready and raring to go by 8am (!!!), Katumba costume was merged with Google visuals as our drummers fashioned the Google Next logo on their cheeks. And of course our usual generous sprinkling of eco-friendly glitter!

Our energetic drumming band opened the conference to unsuspecting spectators, who – after an initial shock – enjoyed our early morning blend of samba reggae, big beat and upbeat moves.

We were blown away by the response of the audience, comprised of Google leaders, developers and partners from all over the world. It was a special moment when right before his keynote speech, Sebastien Marotte Vice President of Google Cloud congratulated and thanked us in front of the crowd:

“Wow, what a wake up call! Thank you for the amazing drumming!”

Sebastien Marotte, Vice President Google Cloud.

 

And positive words from Carolee Gearhart, Vice President Marketing at Google Cloud:

It was particularly amazing to see so many women in leadership roles at Google. Google in fact has the most gender equality out of any other top corporate tech company’s executive team. Katumba champions women empowerment through our mass of drummers – most of which are women – and the presence of our powerful female performers at the conference was a great complement to Google’s women leaders.

So much so, that some of them wanted to join us!

But our biggest fan (and newest Katumba member) had to be Becky Levanger, Partner Marketing Manager at Google:

becky levanger google katumba drummers women

Google’s Becky Levanger (centre) with Katumba Musical Director Juliana Landim (left) and Education/PR Manager Leigh-Angel Bevan (right)

Google’s Becky Levanger (centre) with Katumba Musical Director Juliana Landim (left) and Education/PR Manager Leigh-Angel Bevan (right)

What an experience! Not only was this the biggest gig in Katumba history, but it was a huge challenge for our Band Leader Ritchie who was working within the timings of digital media at an unbelievably high profile event! So much could’ve gone go wrong but he absolutely smashed it – as did all the drummers who played.

We want to say a big thank you to Google (who funnily enough – googled us!) for giving us this incredible opportunity, and Wonder London for making it happen – particularly Harry, who was an amazing colleague, friend and brilliant commuicator over the 22 hours at Excel.

Big shout out to Virgin Trains for halting that train’s departure to help us het our huge swaithe of drums stored and secure on the train journeys to and from London, at very (very!) short notice.

 

If you have a conference event coming up and are looking for a unique and memorable performance or corporate workshop, please email us at katumbadrumming@gmail.com or call 07791612905. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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