Sakala Brothers teach drums, percussion

Sakala BrothersTHE Sakala Brothers, who run an arts centre that seeks to enrich professional music in the country, has been conducting a drums and percussion trainers workshop at the Lusaka Playhouse conducted by renowned professional percussionist Leon Mobley of the United States.
Sakala Brothers Arts Centre director Moses Sakala says the purpose of the workshop is to look at how to fuse authentic ethnic rhythms with contemporary rhythms in order to promote African originality in music production.
After the training workshop, the trainers are expected to go out to the other provinces to train others.
Leon, who is in the country as part of the American Embassy’s Living Rhythms’ programme, has performed with top American acts including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana and Damian Marley.
He is a founder and artistic director of da Lion and Djimbe West African Drummers and Dancers and a member of the Innocent Criminals, Ben Harper’s band. He is presently working with Damian Marley and Nas on the project called Distant Relatives.
Leon is said to have started playing African drums in 1967, studying for 10 years under the tutelage of seminal Nigerian master drummer Babatunde Olatunji at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.  In 1977, he studied under the directorship of Senegalese master drummer Ibrahim Camara (former drummer for the National Ballet of Senegal), while a member of the Bokan-Deye Dance company.
After building his name, he became one of the most sought-after drummers. A testament to his new-found status as a major player on the African music scene was when he was invited to South Africa in 1991 to perform with returning exiles Letta Mbulu, Caiphus Semenya and Hugh Masekela. One of his career highlights was meeting and playing for Nelson Mandela when he was released from prison.
He has been accompanied to Zambia by Mima founder Christopher Geiseler, who has worked with US embassies in Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, El Salvador, England, France, Greece and Spain. Established in 2001, Mima – Modern Improvisation Music Appreciation – is an American-based educational non-profit company that uses music improvisation to engage and enrich communities.
It uses a two-pronged strategy to reach teachers and at-risk youth audiences through arts-based song writing and leadership training programme to encourage healthy and just democratic communities.

source:Times of zambia