Frequently Asked Questions
What is Didgeridoo Down Under’s mission?
Through our interactive shows and workshops, we are working to … promote kindness, acceptance and respect among all people and cultures … further appreciation of world music and art … ignite excitement about learning and reading … encourage environmental protection … help end bullying in schools … spark imagination and creativity … and deliver superb entertainment. … In short, we are working to help develop better global citizens in our own unique way.
What distinguishes DDU from other educational entertainment groups?
There is almost no other “edu-tainment” organization that offers programs for such diverse venues as elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, libraries, childcare centers, camps, corporate events, theaters, festivals, museums, retirement communities and more.
What makes your kids’ show so unique?
You would have to hire a musician, a motivational speaker, a historian, a scientist, a puppeteer, a comedian, an author and an artist to cover what we offer in just one show!
How do the college and adult programs differ from the kids’ shows?
Our college and adult programs are essentially concerts, sometimes illuminated with a dazzling multi-media display, and sprinkled with talking. Although they are geared toward mature audiences, kids can attend if accompanied by an adult.
Which age group do you recommend for the Didgeridoo Down Under show?
We perform for all ages, and we tweak our programs according to age levels and learning objectives.
Which age group do you recommend for the Aussie Funk Jam (didgeridoo workshop)?
The workshop is best for ages 8+, and is ideal for tweens, teens and college students. But we’ve had plenty of successful workshops with adults, and we’re OK with mature youngsters participating too.
What is a didgeridoo?
A didgeridoo is a tubular musical instrument that has been played by Aboriginal Australians for at least 1,500 years. The didgeridoo (aka didge) is known for its otherworldly sound, and is the foundation of all of our programs. Traditional didgeridoos are usually made from eucalyptus tree trunks that have been partially hollowed out by termites, then further hollowed out and crafted by man. Non-traditional didges can be made from almost any material, including other types of wood, cloth, clay, leather, metal and fiberglass. We use both Aboriginal-crafted and non-traditional didges.
How do you use the didgeridoo in your shows?
The didgeridoo serves many purposes, especially in our kids’ shows. Besides its musical role, it serves as a gateway to learning about Australia, Aboriginal culture, geography, history, science, vocabulary, literacy, character building, environmentalism and more. But perhaps most importantly, the didge’s unique and captivating sound helps connect us with the audience, and opens up channels of communication. Once we have an audience’s undivided attention, our messages flow powerfully and smoothly. (Our adult concerts focus mostly on music and cultural arts, with a touch of education.)
What are your messages?
We are impassioned to share messages of kindness, acceptance, peace, environmentalism and empowerment. Both kids and adults love our music (and comedy and theatrics and audience participation), but it’s most important to us that audiences absorb our messages.
Does DDU offer both solo and duo shows?
Darren, Rob, Lindsey and Raihan perform solo shows. Rob and Tanya perform together for some events, and Lindsey occasionally performs at certain events with a percussionist. Duos are priced differently than solos.
Are all DDU solo shows the same?
Every DDU show is a fusion of music, education, motivation and entertainment, but each performer has a unique style. For instance, Darren includes extra comedy for both educational purposes and entertainment, and Raihan brings along his pet skink to help promote environmentalism. Rob uses a wide range of didgeridoo playing styles, and Lindsey simultaneously plays both the djembe (African hand drum) and the didgeridoo. Each delivery is slightly different, but equally effective.
Can I request a specific performer?
We do our best to accommodate special requests. However, due to travel schedules that sometimes take us all over the country, we can’t always guarantee that you’ll get a specific performer. Just let us know what you’d like, and we’ll try our best to make it happen.
What is Didge Evolution?
Didge Evolution is a musical project created by Rob and Tanya for colleges, theaters and other venues that host adult programs. All Didge Evolution events are booked through Darren.
What is Drums and Drones?
Drums and Drones is a music project created by Lindsey Dank (didgeridoo) and Tobin Wagstaff (percussion). They perform at colleges, festivals and some other venues. Darren books all Drums and Drones events.
What is Didg Revolution?
Didg Revolution is the name of the didgeridoo performance trio that included Darren Liebman, Lindsey Dank and Jeremy Lembo, from about 2002 to 2005. You can still reach this website via www.didgrevolution.com, and that domain is still written on some of our promotional material.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
Yes, we are working on a couple of new school programs: a literacy / storytelling program for K-5 (based around Tanya’s children’s books), and a science-based program for upper elementary and middle schools.
How many programs do you perform annually?
We perform 500-plus programs, in more than 300 venues, each year. Since 2004, we’ve presented over 6,000 programs in more than 3,000 venues for well over 600,000 viewers and participants.
Are certain months or seasons busier than others?
We’re busy year-round, but our schedules get extra packed during spring and summer.
How does your booking process work?
We know you’re busy, so we try to keep our booking process as simple as possible. We e-mail all invoices, contracts, set-up instructions and promotional pictures (and study guides for schools), and usually there is nothing to print or physically sign.
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes, please ask for details.
Do you require a deposit?
Not for most events.
Do you have liability insurance?
Has each DDU performer had a background check?
Do you craft and/or sell didgeridoos?
Rob and Tanya handcraft and sell beautiful didgeridoos; contact them for details.
Do you sell didgeridoo music?
Rob and Tanya have been creating and selling amazing music for 20+ years; contact them for details.
Do you ever dress up like an Aboriginal person, with body paint?
No, that would be disrespectful to the Aboriginal people.
Do you perform Aboriginal songs?
No, we only play our own musical pieces. Several Aboriginal people over the years have told us that they prefer for non-Aboriginal didgeridoo players to not imitate their music. Rather, they encourage others to create their own style and perform their own unique music.
How do you give back to the Aboriginal people?
We donate to Aboriginal charities (see our Culture & Charity page) and we buy Aboriginal didgeridoos, boomerangs, bull-roarers and other items whenever possible.
What motivates you?
We wake up every day with passion, drive and purpose to contribute positively to our communities and planet. We do what we love, and we love what we do. It is a privilege to be able to perform for (and hopefully inspire) every audience … and we greatly appreciate your support!