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THE DRUMMERS AND THE GENTRY

JULY 21 2008
Special for THE NEW TIMES HOLLER!
© Amir Bey, 2007
A NEIGHBORHOOD INSTITUTION, THE DRUMMERS CIRCLE IS UNDER FIRE FROM THE NEWLY ARRIVED GENTRY
I dug watching the drummers' deliberations on what rhythm to play. One drummer began a rhythm for others to pick it up. It was nice, and everyone heard it, but no one responded. Two drummers to his right played with each other tentatively, while another pair across from them worked on one, searching to come up with something. When the other pair joined them, then so did the rest of the 20 or so drummers and percussionists, with the dancers spinning and gliding with them. One of the dancers, a boy about 12 years old, danced with convincing inspiration with the older sisters and received several dollars pasted on the sweat of his forehead, African style. You can see him dancing in the video. After about five minutes, this piece ended. Sometimes there is no deliberation; a sole drummer sends out an assured and infectious heartbeat that the others immediately join. Were these deliberations a search for a living spirit to be uncovered? A life force that lives within a subterranean canal that trickles out from several springs that become a stream feeding into a teaming river, ending its journey by flowing into an ocean of previous drum and dance happenings?

The first following video has excerpts from the drummers, dancers, and second video has an interview with community member trombonist Craig Harris, who has lived across the street from the park since 1981.

CRAIG HARRIS, LONG TIME RESIDENT SHARES HIS VIEWS WITH THE NEW TIMES HOLLER!
contact: info@thenewtimesholler.com website by: 8pawdesign
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