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West African drumming workshop hosted in Truro

The Drum Runners group performing in 2016, on Inglis Street in Truro.
The Drum Runners group performing in 2016, on Inglis Street in Truro.

TRURO, N.S. – Ted Powell has yet to visit West Africa, but he has been drumming West African rhythms for close to 20 years.

“We’re an amateur drumming group, it’s all about having fun and enjoying the experience.”

Powell belongs to the Drum Runners group in Truro, along with 15 other active members. The Drum Runners meet a few times a month to practise playing the West African drum Djembe. They perform locally a couple of times a year and have been doing so since 2004.

“Some people in our groups do have musical talent, or there’s others who have never picked up an instrument before until they started,” said Powell.  

The Drum Runners music usually originates from Guinea, Mali and Senegal in West Africa.

Powell started out drumming with no previous musical experience and he says 90 per cent of members who join don’t have any either.

“You join a group to socialize and have fun together, I guess I fall under that category.”

There will be a West African Drumming workshop on Saturday at the Douglas Street Recreation Centre, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for anyone who wants to try it out.

Powell helped organize the event and Glenn Fraser, a professional hand drummer from Halifax, will be leading and teaching the basics of djembe drumming.

If you’ve always wanted to try making music but you’re not sure where to start, this is the event for you, Powell says.

“We figure if people try out drumming and they would like to pursue it, our drumming circle can help them get there, and eventually if they would like to join the Drum Runners, that’s another option.”

The Drum Runners next performance is June 3, at the Canada 150 Multi-Cultural show happening at Civic Square.

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