May 25, 2006From The Morning Call
Rhythms rowdy and soothing at the Great Djembe Jam''If you have a drum, please play it,'' Moe Jerant told a crowd gathered on a Sunday
afternoon at Mayfair's Lakeside Stage in 2005. ''If you have hands, you can clap. If you have feet, you can stomp. …
We're going to kick it and have a party.''
Apparently they did have a party — a Morning Call reporter called
the Great Djembe Jam featuring Jim Donovan of Rusted Root and the Lehigh Valley Drum Circle ''the musical hit of the day.''
won't be leading the Great Djembe Jam party this Saturday — Jerant, leader of the Lehigh Valley Drum Circle, has the
honors. But she expects it will be the same good time.
Nearly two dozen members of the drum circle — essentially
Jerant's world percussion students — will perform rhythms rowdy and soothing. Most play djembes, those goblet-shaped
hand drums with goatskin heads that hail from West Africa. But at the rear of the stage will be a grouping of djun djuns,
the mother drums that lay down a foundation rhythm.
The hour-long jam will include ''rhythms'' such as ''fanga,'' a
welcoming rhythm, that includes singing by Jerant in a kind of call-and-response format. Another rhythm is omalarasu, a stick
rhythm that results from players using a hand and a stick instead of two hands.
''Most of it is African music. What
isn't has an influence from the African culture,'' says Jerant.
Hopefully, she says, the drum circle members won't
be the only ones drumming. Audience members are encouraged to bring drums and participate, hence, the word jam.
kind of a performance, kind of a drum circle. There are places in the program where I will specifically ask them to do stuff.''
will be lots of room for dancing and shaking and whatever.
However, extra drums will not be available. What will be
available are little shakers, which will be given out as a kind of promotion to advertise the Lehigh Valley Drum Circle's
new Web site at http://www.lvdrumcircle.com , which launches on Saturday.
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