Femmes play drums, too. That’s the premise behind a forthcoming documentary made by female drummers in the U.S. and Canada about women drummers. The brainchild of Ontario-based drummer Cindy Goldberg, Beat Keepers: Women With Rhythm! will soon be here to showcase amazing female percussionists. 

Featuring women from all walks of life who came to play the drums in a variety of ways, Beat Keepers: Women With Rhythm! features women who love to play the drums. We were so stoked to sit down with drummer and brainchild of the project, Cindy Goldberg, to chat Beat Keepers, which is currently rounding out a crowdfunding campaign.

FD: What was the inspiration behind Beat Keepers?

CG: I’ve been a musician for over 40 years, I only took up drumming four years ago. I fell in love with it right away. I quickly learned there were relatively few femme drummers on the scene. I decided I wanted to meet them and hear their stories. 

In 2017, I decided to create a short documentary about local female drummers. The film was well received and people suggested I created a longer film, centering on many more drummers from across Canada and the United States.

What is the relationship between the movie’s creative team and drumming? Are there other drummers in the team other than yourself? 

The creative team is located in Bogota, Colombia. They are a team of professional film and audio editors. The main editor, Javier, is  a musician himself (not a drummer). Because of his musical ear he understands how to make a very compelling and artistic movie based around music.

Who are the drummers we should watch on the circuit right now?

“Wow . . . there are so many. I want to keep abreast of all the emerging and established women drummers in my film. I’ve learned something from all of them. There are many renowned male drummers in the movie, including Ramon Yslas, Walfredo Reyes Jr, Todd Sucherman, Jared Falk, Dan Shinder, Pat Bautz, Roy Nichol and Jason Gianni. They’re all my heroes!”

We know it’s hard to choose, but was there a standout interview from the film? 

Each and every interview moved me. There wasn’t any one that stood out. I’ve made some meaningful connections with several of the drummers, and have seen them outside of the interviews. I spent my birthday in Buffalo, New York with Colleen Mastrocovo of Hair Nation, for example. And Roy Nichol (of the infamous band April Wine) has been mentoring me as a drummer.

What’s next for the Beat Keepers movie?

We’ll finish editing and polishing the movie in July and start screening the film at film festivals as early as August. We hope it will also get picked up by online streaming services so that anyone and everyone has an opportunity to see it and learn about these amazing musicians.

How did you find the filmmaking process?

It’s been a lot of hard work! You have to put in the time, day & night. But it’s been worth every minute I’ve devoted. Indeed, I believe it’s going to be the project of a lifetime.

What was the hardest part of the filmmaking process? 

If I could get a do over, I would have pursued grant applications early on, before I began the project. Funding has been tight. But again, this is worth the investment. I’m honored to bring more recognition to female drummers.

Follow the project on Facebook and Instagram

See Cindy in action playing in her band Restless Soul.


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