A bucket, some sticks and an open mind: the essential ingredients for this drummer

Bucket drummer Sheldon De Souza uses his love of rhythm as inspiration to help youth find their own creative spark.

Sheldon De Souza uses his love of rhythm as inspiration to help youth find their own creative spark

Sheldon De Souza. (CBC Arts)

There's no other way to say it: Sheldon De Souza is a badass drummer. Raised by a family of musicians, he's known all about the power of music. He drums for the Toronto Raptors (the team's official bucket drummers are known as "The 6ix Stix") and the Ryerson University Performance: Dance program.

De Souza has found much success as a drummer, but he doesn't feel fulfilled yet. As you'll find out in this video, he wants to pay it forward. His mission is to inspire youth to find their voice through music by teaching drumming at high schools and to incarcerated youth in prisons, and he hopes to break into the industry to create his own performance-based music that spreads a message of positivity.

Sheldon De Souza's bucket drumming

CBC Arts

3 years ago
De Souza has found much success as a drummer but he doesn't feel fulfilled. As you'll find out in this video, he wants to pay it forward. 2:58

For him, the universality of bucket drumming is what makes it so powerful. As he puts it: "It doesn't matter who you are — from a grandfather to a baby, you can play the drum."

"When I'm playing a drumbeat, all of a sudden you see their foot tapping or you see their body start to move. And I know I'm affecting them because of what I'm playing. That's when I realize the power of the drums: it's primal — it's such a release."

De Souza is currently working on his album, set to be released in April. He'll be performing at Stars Come Out in Barrie, Ontario on May 8, and you can also catch him at Sound of Music Festival in Burlington, Ontario, June 16-17.

Sheldon De Souza. (CBC Arts)

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.


Sura Mallouh is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer based in Toronto, ON. Her job has taken her to multiple continents and across many countries, each with its own challenges. She is known for blending strong cinematography with heartfelt stories to amplify people’s voices. Her work has been featured on various platforms including Upworthy.


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