Monday, April 29, 2013

Lebeha Drumming Center

Tuesday night found us on the north end of Hopkins at the Driftwood Beach Bar & Pizza Shack, www.driftwoodpizza.com. I had read on other's blogs about this being the "best" pizza in Belize...a challenge we were up for.

Entrance To Driftwood
Beach Side of Driftwood
We arrived about 6:30p.m. just as the crowd was beginning to assemble. Tuesday nights are reserved for Lebeha Drumming Center's performance, that starts around 7:30p.m. We ordered 2 pizzas--one each, as they are 4 slices/pizza and cost $26bze ($13USD) each. I have to admit the pizza dough was out of this world! It was laden with Italian herbs and combined with the sauce---delish!!
Happy Kitchen Crew


PIZZA!!
As we were eating, the drumming school began to set up. This night would have fewer performers as the school had sent most of the group to Canada to receive their Grammy Award! One primero and one segunda drum were accompanied by a dual tortoise shell necklace drum, a set of maracas, a stand up electric bass and keyboard. Let the drumming begin!

The Band

Tortoise Shell Necklace Drum
The performers are paid by tips only, so we purchased one of their CD's.
I opened my big mouth and asked one of the performer's if he'd teach us to drum..."Yes, come to the school tomorrow morning at 10, I'll teach you." Oh, no....

Lebeha Drumming Center Entrance
We reported to Lebeha Drumming Center, www.lebeha.com, as requested. For one hour we tortured Shaquille with our rhythm parroting, but actually learned how to Garifuna drum on segundas! We also met Jabbar Lambey, the drum master/owner who is handing down and teaching his skills to the next generation.

Larry, Jabbar, Shaquille, Babs
We were shown how they carve the trunk of a mahogany tree out and spread a deer skin over one end for the drumhead, they then "drum off" the fur. The drum is tuned by tightening the cordage from around the drumhead through holes at the base of the drum's body, some of the drums also have either a fishing line or thin wire strung across the drumhead that creates a buzzing sound (like a snare drum).

Deer Skin Soaking Prior To Becoming A Drumhead

Furry Segunda Drumhead, Drum Being Made

Jabbar told us that when he was a child, he was only permitted to watch the elders drum and could not participate with them-so he would watch from afar and practice in hiding. Lebeha means "the end" in Garifuna, it was to be the end of their culture, but Jabbar and his school keep the positive vibrations going.

School interior
More School Interior


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