You Won't Be Able To Resist The Beat

by Merritt Frey, Executive Director

Drummers like Sekou will make it hard for anyone at the Soiree to sit still...

Drummers like Sekou will make it hard for anyone at the Soiree to sit still...

We are gearing up here for our big Soiree on October 12. It is a chance to hear about the successes you've supported in the last year and what great things are coming in the next year.

But this year that isn't all you'll hear! We are excited to have three drummers joining us to share the joy and beauty of West African drumming -- Deja Mitchell, Sekou Soumah, and Hakim Muhammed.

Deja is a dance faculty member at Weber State University. She is a lead performer with Africa Heartwood Project and Wofa Afro-fusion Dance Company. Deja is passionate about bringing the drum beats and dancing of Africa to Utah, including instructing senior citizens at Weber County Library and children at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. She is also an artist in residence at schools and many local groups.

Sekou Soumah is a talented dancer and drummer from Portland, Oregon. Sekou began dancing professionally with the Northwest African American Ballet in 1998. He has apprenticed with several of Guinea’s best dancers, including Youssouf Koumbassa, Moustapha Bangoura, and Alseny Soumah, all of whom have been members of Les Ballets Africains. In addition to dance, Sekou has also been a longtime student of the djembe and dunun. In 2005 he joined a small group of elite percussionists by becoming an accredited teacher for the Tam Tam Mandingue School of Djembe. In 2008 he earned his TTM Professor’s Diploma, which is the highest level one can obtain in the organization.

Hakim Muhammed comes to us via Portland, Oregon where we teaches African drumming in Portland Public Schools. He also teaches drumming to adults, coaches football, and runs his own music studio -- among many other pursuits. We're going to keep Hakim focused on drumming, rather than football, at the Soiree.

So come join us in Salt Lake City at the Soiree on October 12 -- great music, great food, great people...and, of course, a great cause. All for just the cost of a $50 ticket: