Philadelphia drummer Christopher Sean Powell has played in many bands over the past decade. He was a member of weirdo experimental collective Need New Body, a founder of avant-garde pop group Icy Demons and he goes by the stage name Pow Pow when playing with rowdy indie-rock band Man Man. He has recently been busy working on a few new music projects, one of which, Adventuredrum, gives its world premiere performance Friday evening at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art’s Art After 5 event.
Adventuredrum’s a 15-piece Afro-Beat inspired ensemble consisting mostly of drummers, but also includes bass guitar and synthesizers. Among its members are Man Man’s Matt Gibson and Jamey Robinson, and several drummers from well-known local bands: Chris Ward (Pattern Is Movement), Ricardo Lagomasino (Many Arms), Jason Kourkounis (Bardo Pond) and Chris Wilson (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists). Given the personnel, Adventuredrum’s a bit of a Philly musician all-star project. “It’s an adventure for all of us,” says Powell. “We’re excited to try out some new things, and this project has really shaken me out of my comfort zone.”
This won’t be the first time Powell’s played in large drummer ensembles. He has participated in two of the Boadrum events organized by Japanese experimental band Boredoms: In 2007, Boadrum included 77 drummers playing together in Brooklyn; the next year, there was a performance by 88 drummers in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles. “There’s something really powerful and fun about getting so many drummers together,” says Powell. “And I wanted to create something similar in Philadelphia.”