The beat of a stronger drum: Local performers play for Baker – Salem News: Local News

BOSTON — What happened after newly sworn-in Gov. Charlie Baker finished his address at the inaugural celebration in Boston last night?

The beat of a stronger drum: Local performers play for Baker

Plans called for some of Beverly’s finest performers to take the stage carrying West African djembe drums.

Express Yourself, based in the Cummings Center, is an arts immersion organization specializing in the development of children and young adults aged 5 to 21. The musicians come from Department of Mental Health-funded programs around Massachusetts. They make up several performing groups, including one that specializes in the djembe.

Big stages are no stranger to many of the performers.

The drummers act as “an official, unofficial touring group for Express Yourself,” said Nic Bennett, a mentor who went through the program at a younger age and stuck around to help others.

The drummers were led by Joh Camara, a master drummer and dancer from Mali, West Africa. Camara has performed with Express Yourself for seven years, he said.

“The piece we’re playing is all based on happiness and celebration,” Camara said. “It’s a celebration for life as well. What we’re doing is bringing people together peacefully with happiness and joy.”

READ MORE via The beat of a stronger drum: Local performers play for Baker – Salem News: Local News.

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