I have worked for several years with the Capital Grannies, a local chapter of the Stephen Lewis Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign here in Canada. Our connection began with Kate, a talented participant in my adult drumming class, who so enjoyed drumming that she wanted to bring the experience to the women in the Capital Grannies. Their tireless efforts in fundraising for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in South Africa keeps them very busy, but drumming has added an exciting element to some of their events, and made for a strong bond between the women. Over the years, I have taught them some of the Ghanaian repertoire and adapted it so that they can play sometimes on their own, or with me. I really enjoy playing with them in performance when I can, and we have collaborated several times with my youth group. Sadly, Kate passed away from cancer a few years ago, but her passion for drumming has kept us all at it! The Capital Grannies run an annual Golf Tournament in Kate’s name, as a fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. This year’s event last weekend was very successful, as usual, including a new drumming piece! In rare form (these ladies are usually meticulous and long-term planners!) they asked me for a new piece at our rehearsal the week before the event. They learned several new parts of Kpatsa in a short session, which we then drummed at the Golf Tournament dinner! Kudos to all! Its an honour to know and work with these vibrant women.
Drumming with the Grannies!
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