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CHESTERTOWN, MD—On Tuesday, October 1, the Washington College Department of Music presents a book talk and drumming performance by Kenneth Schweitzer, an associate professor who has been initiated as a Santería ritual drummer. Schweitzer will discuss and demonstrate the history and practice of Afro-Cuban batá drumming at 5:30 p.m. in the Egg, a performance space on the first floor of Hodson Hall Commons. A Caribbean-themed reception will follow. Co-sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of American Experience, the event is free and open to the public.
Schweitzer published his book, The Artistry of Afro-Cuban Batá Drumming: Aesthetics, Transmission, Bonding, and Creativity, in spring of 2013 after more than 15 years of research and exploration. Since his initiation as a ritual drummer, he has played sacred drums in more than 100 ceremonies all over the world.
The high-energy performance on October 1 will emphasize the drum’s role in the evocation of mythological spirits. Because the batá drum is always played in threes, Schweitzer will be joined by two professional colleagues, D.C.-based percussionist Mark Merella and ethnomusicologist David Font.
For more information on Schweitzer’s experiences, please visit http://www.washcoll.edu/live/news/2057-drumming-up-a-religious-experience.
– Kimberly Uslin ’14