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Afrikan Drumming Concert Keeps The Beat On Danbury Green

A fan stretches out on her drumming blanket from Ghana for the Afrikan Drumming Concert on the Green in Danbury. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Ase-AmenRa Kariamu, director of Kariamu Drum and Dance, leads the show Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Afrikan Drummers Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Keeping the beat Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Dancers join the drummers on stage Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Gathering backstage Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The drumming lineup Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Keeping the beat Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Meat the Press food truck Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Feeling the music Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Getting down with the music Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The Summer Series of Concerts on the Green continue through August. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris

DANBURY, Conn. — Crowds at the Concerts on the Green in Danbury enjoyed a recent chance to keep the beat and dance to the beat of West Afrikan Drummers.

People of all backgrounds filled the Danbury Green for a show led by Ase-AmenRa Kariamu, director of Kariamu Drum and Dance in Danbury.

He was joined by his wife of 25 years, Althea Kariamu, and their three children: Nsangi, Seku-Baye, and Nilaja Kariamu as well as other Danbury drummers, including Jill Hancock of A Common Ground.

Kariamu began his musical education and career with master drummer, Keindre O’Uhuru, director of the El Shazz Orchestra.

The evening's program opened with "Wilonsondon" from Senegal, which means "Freedom Song." The song was "Lamban," which is from the Great Mali Empire. This song is played for naming ceremonies, rites of passage, weddings and funerals. 

After the intermission the group got together again to play a few more songs while dancers filled the stage and moved along with the beat.

The group also found the beat with "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" by the Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), followed by "Sinte" from Guinea and ended with "Ku-Ku" from Guinea, which celebrates the harvest.

A washout was predicted for the weather that night. But the rain held out and the Afrikan Drumming was a big hit with a great turnout. 

Fans spread out on the Green with blankets or rented chairs from CityCenter Danbury, which also popped fresh popcorn for a great snack.  

In addition to the concert, the food truck Meat the Press pulled in to serve up its popular food to the crowd.

The summer concert series continues Thursday, Aug. 20, with the Danbury Drum Corps. 

On Friday, Aug. 21, the headliner is "Get Your Wings," with Blues Buddha on board for Saturday, Aug. 22. 

For more information on the Concerts on the Green, visit the Danbury CityCenter website

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