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Music

Percussionists gathered in support of Eddie Tuduri, who cheated death and paralysis after breaking his neck while bodysurfing
The power of positive thumping

Famous percussionists gather for a cause

Web posted on:
Thursday, December 10, 1998 11:15:50 AM EST

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.

Catch the rhythm!

Audio clip: 185k MPEG-3
Audio clip: 255k WAV
Video clip: 1.4Mb QuickTime

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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