East meets west: Burundi’s batimbo drummers visit Asheville’s drum circle at Bele Chere (video)

Batimbo, a drummers ensemble from Burundi in East Africa, stopped by Asheville’s weekly drum circle on Friday, July 29 — which, because it was Bele Chere weekend, was being held on Lexington Avenue.

Batimbo traveled 7,000 miles to be part of Folkmoot, now in its 28th year. “Their performance has elicited standing ovations throughout Western North Carolina. The drummers sing and play drums carved from tree trunks carried on top of their heads, each weighing up to 70 kilos (about 150 pounds). They are simply amazing,” according to Folkmoot USA Executive Director Karen Babcock.

The video is by kinetic08. 

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

One thought on “East meets west: Burundi’s batimbo drummers visit Asheville’s drum circle at Bele Chere (video)

  1. bill smith

    See, drum-circle? That’s what is called a unified, steady, consistent rhythm. Listening to each other. Not competing.

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