Monkeys with Drums – About us
Monkeys with Drums is a visionary music project based in Hawai’i that blends vibrant, powerful music, dance and activism to motivate and inspire a more just and beautiful world for all beings. At this pivotal time in our history, with surging racism, sexism, homophobia, animal abuse, police brutality and corporate/government corruption, Monkeys with Drums is dedicated to creating a world where all life is respected.
Monkeys with Drums is the brainchild of Carlos Garcia, an accomplished musical artist with his roots in the rhythms of Latino culture. Growing up in NYC with parents from Puerto Rico, Carlos was immersed in Latin music, which his mother danced to every day. Latin Music filled his earliest memories and is still a primary influence on Carlos today. In the footsteps of Santana’s blend of Rock and Latin Music, Monkeys with Drums also weaves Arabic, African, Indian and Native American music, into the mix — sometimes in the same song, putting concert attendees into an International dance frenzy that is infectious and irresistible.
The origins of this unique band began in the early ‘90s in Los Angeles. In the potent atmosphere of the Rodney King riots, seeds were planted around the causes of racial equality and justice. Carlos later made his way to France, where he was exposed to a wide spectrum of music unheard of on the American airwaves, changing his musical landscape forever.
Since then, Carlos has honed his skills playing a wide variety of Ethnic drums and percussion from many parts of the world. He’s performed at noted venues such as the Madame Wong’s, L.A. Coliseum and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Carlos’ gifted drumming style caught the attention of renowned artists’ such as Grammy nominated, Mick Fleetwood’s Blues Band, Mick Fleetwood’s Island Rumours Band, Rick Vito from Fleetwood Mac, The Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble, Grammy nominated Souhail Kaspar’s Near East Music Ensemble, Kirtan/Spiritual music with Wah!, Saul David Raye, as well as professional belly dancers around the world.
Grounded in his life experience, and eager to contribute in some positive way to the world, Carlos decided to use his musical gifts as well as his experience in magazine publishing and activism to speak truth to power. Himself a victim of racism, homophobia, police brutality and other injustices, Carlos’ passion for justice grew.
Despite the woes of the commercialized corporate music industry, Carlos continued to pursue his love of music. He eventually decided to bypass the industry’s blatant corruption and create music that could be enjoyed by everyone at no cost. Monkeys with Drums was born to raise awareness, contribute to the collective evolution, and to share, without strings, the joy, upliftment and expansion that his music brings. Monkeys with Drums relies on the communities’ love of this combination of eclectic music infused activism to inspire support. Monkeys with Drums is fully sustained through donations to facilitate continued recordings, videos, social/environmental activism and worldwide tours to raise awareness of these important issues. Filmed on Maui in March 2020 as the COVID-19 lockdown started, their premier music and video production, It’s OK To Love Me, is available free to the world.