Home » M’Power Rhythm summer youth drumming workshops bringing performances

M’Power Rhythm summer youth drumming workshops bringing performances

LEXINGTON, Ky. — M’Power Rhythm, a new Lexington youth-centered non-profit using African ensemble drumming to empower local youth and build community, is concluding its first public workshop of the summer and preparing a series of performances around the area.

M’Power Rhythm works with school children from varying backgrounds with an emphasis on making programs accessible to under-resourced youth.

“Our first summer intensive has been well attended by a diverse group of fifth- through eighth-graders, with and without prior drumming experience,” said program director and long-time educator, Leslie Stamatis, PhD. “We’re excited to see them light up as they get to know each other and experience the joy and community-building power of African hand drumming.”

The intensive session is taught by veteran drummer, educator and the Lexington Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tripp Bratton, who has 40 years experience imparting the rhythms and cultural background of African-derived drumming.

“The experience of drumming together helps remove social barriers and anxiety in a non-intimidating atmosphere,” Bratton said. “Participants receive a comprehensive introduction to rhythm and improvisation in an immersive group environment — while learning the cultural origins of the rhythms they are practicing. As they progress they can become mentors for younger students. It’s really an excellent in-school or out-of-school activity. And it’s fun!” 

M’Power Rhythm is funded in part by a grant from One Lexington.

“This is the first of the workshops and performances we will provide for Lexington youth this summer,” Stamatis said. “We’re elevating our youth, allowing their energy, creativity, and accomplishments to become a force for unity and positivity in our city.”

M’Power Rhythm was launched as a Lexington-based public non-profit in 2023 by Stamatis and Bratton to provide a continuum of workshops and public events, performed at locations across the community where residents can enjoy and participate in a multicultural experience showcasing local youth, empowering culture and building community.

More information and a schedule of events for summer 2024 can be found at www.facebook.com/MPowerRhythm/