“African Drums under the Stars” returns to the SF Planetarium April 15, 2017

“African Drums under the Stars” returns to the SF Planetarium April 15, 2017

Professor Leon Larson (Baba Leon)
Professor Leon Larson (Baba Leon)

On Saturday night, April 15, 2017 the Santa Fe College Drummers, under the leadership of Professor Leon Larson (“Baba Leon”), will be guiding us through the language of the drum as they perform at Santa Fe College’s Kika Silva Pla Planetarium. The performance will take place at 7 p.m. that evening.  This unique experience is inspired by the rhythms of West Africa: rhythms from Nigeria, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Sierra Leone, and rhythms that were carried to and evolved in Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti, and Brazil.

The Voices:

  • Jun Jun: a two-headed bass drum played with a mallet.
  • Djembe: a goblet shaped drum with a bright sound from a goat skin head. The lead drum.
  • Dun Dun, Songbon Kenkeni family of 2 headed accompanying drums played with sticks
  • Shekeres (rattles), Agogo and Gankogui (double toned bells), Cowbells and Claves round out the sound.

Each drum has its own voice in the musical arrangement and it is this interplay that creates the polyrhythmic groove. The unique acoustics of the SF Kika Silva Planetarium will make this an experience you will never forget.

“We’re so excited about having Professor Larson’s class perform a second time at the planetarium,” says James C. Albury, Planetarium Coordinator.  “I had the opportunity to sit in one of Professor Larson’s classes and the rhythms are incredibly moving.  Hearing them in concert within the planetarium dome last semester was a remarkable experience,” continues Albury.

Due to the expected popularity of this special event, attendees are encouraged to purchase their tickets online in advance.  Santa Fe College affiliates are asked to contact the planetarium directly to reserve their seats.  Admission is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for children ages 4-12, senior citizens ages 60 and above, and UF affiliates ,with a Gator-1 ID.  Santa Fe College affiliates receive free admission.

For more information, contact Santa Fe College Kika Silva Pla Planetarium coordinator James C. Albury ( (352-395-5381).

Seating for 52 people, Performance Length is 35-40 minutes.