This CD entitled The Griot's Drum is a wonderful mixture of spoken word, storytelling and music for the entire family. Traditional West African drumming and the American trap set drumming is combined to give a new flavor to some classical African rhythms. The griot holds an honored social position in ancient, as well as contemporary, African culture. The griot, master of the spoken word, is customarily accompanied by music. This group, The Griot Drum Ensemble, carries on the tradition by not only playing high-energy and entertaining music, but also by sharing knowledge of the instruments and culture with the listener. The Griot Drum Ensemble specializes in family-friendly entertainment and music while respecting traditional music of the Malinke of West Africa and other ethnic music.
The storyteller of The Griot Drum Ensemble is the national storyteller Khabir Shareef. Khabir traveled to Senegal and The Gambia in the late 90s. Upon his return to the USA he co-founded the group with Augustus Thomas. Augustus was born in Tobago and had experienced village music directly from early childhood. Augustus has traveled, studied under and played with master African drummers internationally. Augustus is the lead djembe player of the group. The trap set player, Sam Meadows, is well versed in his art. Sam has played a wide variety of music since his youth, including gospel, jazz and funk.
The dancers of the group alternate between Bonnie Shelton and Mijiza Soyini. Bonnie instructs in aquatics, aerobics and dance; she plays shekere and kekeni drum when not dancing. Mijiza is multi-talented. She is a poetess, actress, play director and dance instructor. Mijiza also plays accompany djembe when she isn't dancing.
You will hear, feel and enjoy the fun as this talented group shares their music and spoken word - The Griot's Drum..