Famous percussionists gather for a cause
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From Correspondent Paul Vercammen
SANTA BARBARA, California (CNN) -- Some of the greatest percussionists playing in pop music today recently gathered for a benefit concert to help a friend, and to focus on how rhythm can help people with disabling injuries.
The members of this elite drum circle have played with music's biggest names: Luis Conte with Madonna and James Taylor; Walfredo Reyes Jr. with Santana and Steve Winwood; and Tris Embodan with Chicago.
The all-star drummers were rallying around a cause, a belief that drumming can help sufferers of debilitating injuries.
"It's just a beautiful thing, the sound of it. It's good for your brain. It helps you relax," Conte said.
The percussionists also were gathering to support a colleague, drummer and organizer Eddie Tuduri.
"I've been on some benefits where some musicians are trying to get it off the ground, and as soon as as Eddie Tuduri stepped in, it happened in a big way," Reyes said.
Paralyzed drummer seeks to help others
Tuduri cheated death and paralysis after breaking his neck while bodysurfing more than a year ago.
"I love the ocean. I've always loved the ocean, and I'm not angry because the ocean has maybe taken something from me," Tuduri said. "What it's given me in return is a hundredfold."
In the aftermath of his accident, Tuduri had an idea: that he and other patients at Santa Barbara's Rehabilitation Institute could improve their fate through drumming. So he put together a rhythm therapy program, as well as the fund-raiser that attracted his percussionist friends.
Tuduri said rhythm therapy works mainly as a distraction from the grueling process of rehabilitation.
"Some of the therapy is very needed, very necessary, but it's tedious. It's painful. This (drumming) isn't painful," he said.
Em Kull, who suffered a stroke, said the therapy has helped: "It gives you a shot in the arm that you don't get at other times."
Tuduri himself exemplifies the power that can be found in positive thumping.
"It moves people in miraculous ways," he said.
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