Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Charles Wsir Johnson joined Dr. Bob and Jembe Den for Black History Month performances on February 8th in Starkville, West Point, and Columbus. Wsir, who now lives in Okolona (MS), is a story-teller and musician. Wsir, Dr.Bob, and the Jembe Den African drum ensemble performed concerts at the Starkville Academy, East Side Elementary School (West Point), and the Rosenzweig Arts Center (Columbus). The repertoire for these concerts included traditional drum pieces (kuku, fanga, kassa, luba, toro, bamboula, soli, and djole) which originated as celebration rhythms in West Africa. The group also played an original composition for udus (Nigerian clay pot percussion instruments) and a contemporary composition entitled “Piece For Ghana.” Wsir led a call-and-response song and also shared an interactive story about Anansi and “Why the Spider has a Tiny Waist.” Wsir’s guest appearance was sponsored by the Music Education Partnerships program which fosters collaboration between MSU and partners in the community for the mutually beneficial exchange of musical knowledge and resources. This community-engagement service is made possible by the Holland Music for All endowment.