Friday, March 6, 2020
Jembe Den is an African percussion ensemble comprised of Dr. Robert Damm’s students. They play for cultural and educational programs throughout Mississippi. Their repertoire includes the dance rhythms of the West Africa and the African diaspora traditionally associated with social gatherings, festivals, and community celebrations. Jembe Den performed at three locations on February 28th in recognition of Black History Month:
- The group performed concerts at 9:00 and 9:45 A.M. at Sudduth Elementary School for the first and second grade students. Selected classes from Kathy McGill’s general music program performed with the ensemble.
- Jembe Den served as special guest performers for the Black History Celebration at West Elementary School in Sturgis. The event included a musical skit about the Underground Railroad and a special song titled “Grateful to You.” Jembe Den performed nine African drum selections (fanga, kuku, dansa, kassa, luba, bamboula, toro, soli, and djole) representing musical traditions from Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Mali, Congo, and the African diaspora. The event was organized by Starkville Oktibbeha school district music teacher and MSU music department graduate, Amber Sims.
- The one-day tour concluded with an interactive drum circle at the Amory Municipal Library arranged by librarian Ruby Holman. This event featured in-the-moment music inspired by African rhythms played on African instruments including hand drums, iron bells, and gourd rattles.