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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 24, 2003

Area Students Hear African Drummers In Hancher

More than 1,800 students and teachers from eastern Iowa elementary and secondary schools attended a "Stage Door" matinee performance by the Drummers of West Africa on Oct. 20 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

The special educational matinee was scheduled in conjunction with the drummers public concert Oct. 19 in Hancher.

The Drummers of West Africa, directed by Doudou N'Diaye Rose, exemplify the virtuosic percussion tradition of Senegal which is the home of one of the world's most complex, passionate and technically spectacular drumming traditions.

Rose, who a Le Figaro review described as "the greatest drummer in the world," not only leads the Drummers of West Africa, but has also collaborated with jazz and rock artists including the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis and Peter Gabriel.

The ensemble -- all 35 of them are members of Rose's family -- is a guardian of ancient African drumming traditions, but it is also at the forefront of a living tradition. Rose, a professor at the National Institute of Arts in Dakar, is an innovator who experiments with new percussion technique and creates new compositions for the ensemble.

Participating school groups:

Cedar Rapids: Wright Elementary School - 60 students

Coralville: Kirkwood Elementary School - 182 students; Northwest Junior High School - 8 students

Davenport: Quad Cities 7th Day Adventist - 20 students

Hills: Hill Elementary School - 62 students

Iowa City: Grant Wood Elementary School - 140 students; Hoover Elementary School - 300 students; Horn Elementary School - 294 students; Longfellow Elementary School - 10 students; Lucas Elementary School - 50 students
Shimek Elementary School - 92 students; Weber Elementary School - 155 students

Keota: Keota Elementary School - 12 students

Oxford: Clear Creek Elementary School - 167 students

Shellsburg: Vinton-Shellsburg Home School - 30 students

Solon: Solon Community School - 97 students

Wellman: Mid-Prairie Community School - 115 students

Winfield: Winfield-Mt. Union High School - 35 students

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

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