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African Drum Ensemble to Showcase Skills in Year-End Performance

May 25, 2012
By Jacob Cohn '13

Carleton College’s African Drum Ensemble, a student collective that uses indigenous instruments and teaching methods to perform rhythms and songs from West Africa, will show off its talents in a concert on Tuesday, May 29 at 4 p.m. The concert will take place on the College Bald Spot (or, in the event of rain, in the Sayles-Hill Great Space), and is free and open to the public.


The Carleton African Drum Ensemble, conducted by percussionist Jay Johnson, accepts students by audition. Students have the opportunity to participate in the ensemble as a one-credit course. In addition to the African Drum Ensemble, Carleton has offered ensembles for two instruments of the Shona people of Southern Africa, the karimba and the mbira dza vadzimu, which are both plucked instruments also known as the “thumb piano.”


Senior lecturer in percussion and director of the African Drum Ensemble, Jay Johnson received the B.F.A. and M.M. degrees in Percussion with an emphasis on Ethnomusicology from the University of Minnesota. He has performed dozens of world premieres at major festivals and concert halls throughout the United States and Europe. He can be heard locally in concert or on recordings with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera Company, Plymouth Music Series, Dale Warland Singers, and others.


For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Department of Music at (507) 222-. The Sayles-Hill Campus Center is located at the end of College Street on the Carleton campus; the Bald Spot is located adjacent to the Sayles-Hill Campus Center.

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