Wednesday, April 20, 2011


 After 4 sold out performances, the Morgan family held a party for all those who participated in Sankofa.  For the first time it took place in our barn.
After we finished eating, Clyde (#2)'s son started playing the big blue drum I made out of a plastic barrel.  Before too long his sister, father and Marcus joined in.  Turned into quite a jam.
 Many took turns.  I went back in the house and brought out my Irish drum, a tambourine, shakers and more sticks.
 It definitely brought out the smiles.
 What a pleasure it was to meet these very talented kids.

Each time we played, the bass drum started...then the sangba and finally the djembe.  Spontaneous and in a real groove.  People were dancing.  There is something to be said for drumming.

It could have gone on longer, but several had to drive back to New York City.  

Monday, February 28, 2011


I want to learn how to play the djembe, bells, shakers and the drums that are the heart beat of the jams.  So, I grabbed one of the 55 gallon plastic drums from the feed room and had Gary trim off about 6 or 7 inches.
After it was cleaned, decided to fancy it up a bit.  I used whatever I could find.  Wallpaper samples, books of wrapping paper and glue that you would use for papier mache.
Why not!  I spent quite awhile covering the entire barrel.  Not sure if the paper was going to stick.
Made a set of drum sticks (Gary cut and sanded some thick dowels for me).  Then I took scraps of fabric and covered the rounded ends...kept them in place with fat rubber bands, then wound around some thin yarn.
It sounds pretty darn good!  Can't wait to try it out on Sunday.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The Saturday Drum Circle is very different from the one held here at the farm, as many of the participants have had a lot of experience.  Some of them play with Sankofa (African Dancing and Drumming Ensemble) and all are very loyal followers of Khalid.  In fact, most of them drive out from Rochester.  People who are drawn to drumming have some similar characteristics (sensitive, interested in community, mellow, caring).  Jeff, who leads our jams at the farm, has had a lot of experience playing with Khalid and his goal is to expose more people to the joys of this activity.  He does workshops and schools, local events etc.  Most of us, who drum here, are real rookies.  Sometimes I wonder what the college group even thinks...about my being there.  That's where community comes in.  Khalid welcomes people of all different levels and patiently takes us along.  We drummed from 1-4:15 this week.  That's a very long stretch, but I was able to keep up 90% of the time.  It really feeds your soul.  I now take notes to learn more of the terminology and videos to remember the hand patterns.

Here's a sample.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


This is a short clip taken on New Year's Day at the College.  There were 14 of us counting Khalid, and we got in this groove.  What a feeling.