African drum and dance at SCCC

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

    newton - Sussex County Community College will present a concert by master drummer, Maxwell Kofi Donkor, at 10:50 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the Theater. Kofi is an outstanding, award-winning sculptor and educator, but it is drumming that inspires him. He says he benefits from drumming more than his students do. “Drumming is part of me. I love it. I leave strengthened by the spirit of the drum.” Kofi’s music creates an atmosphere of an indigenous African village, where everyone gets involved. It celebrates daily life, marriage, initiation, birth of a baby, first sprouts of corn, harvest, the community welcoming of guests, even death. His songs and rhythms are indigenous, passed on from generation to generation in an unwritten form. Kofi grew up with them and they have become part of him. He first learned the skills essential to a drummer at his grandfather’s knee, in his native village, Otumi, in Ghana, West Africa. Like many Ghanaian youths, he was commissioned as a teenager to carry on the traditions of his ancestors, and performed for a number of years with the Folklore Ensemble of Ghana. He has been drumming and performing for over 30 years, and has played with such nationally known drummers as Babatunde Olatunji, Mickey Hart, Sikiru and Camara. Since his arrival in the United States, Kofi has formed many drum circles in the tri-state region. “Drumming is the heartbeat of humanity,” says Kofi. “It balances both positive and negative energies in the individual and, ultimately, in the community. Drumming heals.” Admission to the concert is free. For information, call 973-300-2232.