Thursday, February 16, 2017
Dr. Bob led a music program for K-5 students in Sturgis on February 10th featuring a performance of JEMBE DEN, the African drum ensemble comprised of Dr. Bob’s students which plays for cultural and educational programs throughout Mississippi. Their repertoire consists primarily of the traditional dance rhythms of the West African region now known as Mali and Guinea: the home of the jembe drum. JEMBE DEN also plays traditional drum rhythms from Nigeria, Ghana, and the African diaspora. Their drum rhythms are traditionally associated with social gatherings and community celebrations such as the end of a harvest, marriage, baby naming, and other festive occasions. Dr. Bob talked about the origins of specific rhythms, dances, and instruments, and their historical and cultural contexts. The program was arranged by PEAK Teacher Emily Denny and hosted by Principal Andrea Pastchal-Smith.