We had a great time in Chicago this weekend! Rhythm N Dance Founder Kevin McEwen had a great opportunity to reconnect with the young men from the Fara Lambe 2012 trip to Senegal, West Africa.

Photo Aug 14, 8 36 16 PMIn 2012, An idealistic social worker initiates an ambitious project to take a group of street musicians to West Africa. Fascinated by the sounds of bucket drummers she meets on Chicago’s south side, Elilta Tewelde aspires to connect the young men to their African heritage through music. A native of Africa herself, she crowd funds a trip to Senegal where the teens will participate in traditional drumming workshops under a master percussionist and his family. But the cultural divide proves wide and problems surface along the way challenging the project leaders and bucket drummers to unexpected limits and discoveries about themselves. 

Elilta partnered with us at Rhythm N Dance, to make sure that the journey in Senegal would be a safe and fruitful experience.  Executive Director Kevin McEwen works closely with Musical Director and Senegalese Griot Percussionist Medoune Gueye (aka Papa Dame.) Papa Dame is from a long line of traditional drummers and maintains a network of musicians and dancers in Senegal.

The team designed a workshop to enhance the bucket drummers’ knowledge of African drumming near Papa Dame’s home village of Petit Mbao, Senegal.Photo Aug 16, 4 23 38 PM

This past weekend, the young men from the documentary were reconnected with Kevin McEwen, who played a very instrumental role as a mentor to these young men.  The film was selected by the Chicago-based Black Harvest Film Festival, where the film enjoyed an amazing level of community support, by selling out both viewings on Sunday afternoon and Monday night.

Take a look at the documentary in this clip below:

If you are interested in showing this documentary in your city, email us!