The Tam Tams are perhaps not something that appears on a typical tourist attraction check list, but if you happen to be in Montreal on a Sunday during the summer months they are worth checking out.
The Montreal Tam Tams started in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Students gathered at the edge of Mont Royal at Jeanne-Mance Park, near the George-Etienne Cartier Monument to practice African drumming. It became a regular Sunday event with an increasing number of drummers. The crowds got bigger as more people came to listen and dance to the beat. Small temporary vendors started to set up around the event as it became the perfect venue to sell trinkets and crafts. By the mid 90’s the city of Montreal had to take charge of the security and set up a permit system for the marketplace.
The sound of the drumming takes on a life of its own. It gets your heart pumping as dozens of hand drums are being beat in a unison of rhythm. There’s a variety of other entertainment going on around the drumming, anything from jugglers to unicycle riders and uniquely dressed barefoot dancers. There is certainly a haze of ganja smoke in the air, but it’s a family friendly gathering of people of every age and walk of life. No one is there to judge anyone, it’s all about the spirit of community and the music.
Jimmy Hendrix is reborn! As a boom box blared with Jimmy Hendrix tunes this guy put his heart and soul into a one man airband show.
The Montreal Tam Tams are held from May to the end of September on every Sunday from noon to sundown (weather permitting).
It’s something we missed out on, but apparently in the woods behind the Tam Tams there is another group that gathers called the Montreal Foam Fighters. People dress up in medieval costumers and fight each other with foam weapons.