LEAF Southside Drummers
“Southside Drummers are making sounds around town! When you hear them coming, be ready to GET DOWN!”
LEAF Schools & Streets is partnering with the Wesley Grant Center to empower youth and build community through New Orleans style drumming.
“This program has been a great way for the kids to creatively express themselves. My son says it calms him down when he drums because he has to focus on his beat.”
– Parent Coordinator: Shuvonda Harper
Inspired by the rich and authentic culture of the New Orleans indigenous people, the LEAF Southside Drummers recreate the beats and rhythms that can be heard leading parades down the streets of New Orleans. Led by Resident Teaching Artist, Imhotep, the group uses tambourines and other percussion instruments to practice various styles of music including traditional call-and-response chants and rhythmic versions of today’s hits. The program was created in 2011 and has allowed Southside’s young drummers to participate in multiple festivals, including the first LEAF Downtown where they debuted their official blue and gold uniforms. The Southside Drummers practice on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Wesley Grant Center.
Meet Some of the LEAF Southside Drummers…
Journey to Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, Georgia
The LEAF crew of 40 were mezmerized with this inspirational journey to appreciate and celebrate this powerhouse musical tradition of the country’s top marching bands from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The “battle” featured bold stunning musical performances, choreography, and finale’ drumline.
Watch the LEAF Southside Drummers’ opening cadence for the Member’s party at the 41st New Orleans inspired LEAF Festival!
For more information on how to get your child drumming with the Southside Drummers, please email CulturalArts Director, Schree Chavdarov, at Schree@the LEAF.org!
“I enjoy bringing the kids and watching them learn new sounds and beats. It can sometimes be frustrating and can be a little tiresome at practice, but when you want good quality you have to work at it. Practice makes perfect!”
Behind the sounds of beating drums and dancing feet is the hard work and dedication of Shuvonda Harper. Starting as a parent volunteer and then rising up to fulfill the role of parent coordinator, Shuvonda is at the core of the Southside Drummers. Shuvonda spends a lot of her time reaching out to neighbors and community members to spread information about various opportunities (such as the Southside Drummers) and advocates for her community in many different ways. She also ensures that students have access to programming by accompanying students to and from practice. Most importantly, Shuvonda serves as the Southside Drummers’ #1 cheerleader. Through tough practices and large crowds at shows, Shuvonda assists Resident Teaching Artist, Imhotep, in building the confidence of the young drummers.
LEAF Schools & Streets is grateful to have this partnership and cannot wait to see how she helps this program grow.
“We are looking forward to many more shows and chances to let our community see and hear the beautiful things the LEAF Southside Drummers are doing!”