Tag Archives: African culture

Somi; A story of culture and identity told through music

On Friday, February 14, 2020, at 7:30 pm “Somi” was performed at the Colwell Playhouse. The performance consisted of several songs played a a band and lead singer, Somi. Each song was centered around a theme pertaining to Somi’s life growing up.

By: Daniel Plata

Pamphlet and playhouse before performance starts
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The Cohesive Performance of Somi

Somi, a jazz musician who was born and raised right here in Champaign, IL, set out to change the definition of what jazz and African music entailed, frequently combining the two.

Written by Willa Wu

Somi performed her music in the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on February 14, 2020.  The singer and her group of talented musicians, who have won countless awards, delivered an awe inspiring performance, where each individual in the band had their own time to shine.

The line of people waiting to enter the Colwell Playhouse after scanning in.
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“Clap, snap, and stamp”– the pounding of the Drumfolk

Drumfolk is a highly impressive performance that brought by Step Afrika, the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of steeping. Performers will use their own bodies as an instrument to create their own beat. The Drumfolk was performed on February 6th at Colwell Playhouse

Written by Bingchen Li

Bodies as instruments

Drumfolk brought the spirit and energy to everyone in the show. The reason why performers use their own bodies as an instrument is because of the banning of the drum in 1740. We all know that we have a really dark and grieved history back to that uncivilized time. African Americans cannot use drums because of discrimination. However, as Dr. David said “They took the drums away… but they could not stop the beat.” Even they physically could not play the drum, but they could steeping!

Fabulous stage setting before the performance started
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