‘Drum Beat Journey’ Tells the Story of Chicago Boys Traveling to Senegal

Drum Beat Journey Preview from Elilta Tewelde on Vimeo.

The Drum Beat Journey project takes us on a musical pilgrimage with a group of Chicago bucket drummers. This story is about growth and perseverance through challenges, building community, and understanding one’s history.

The film documents the lives of Demetrius, D’Quan, Dontay, and DaMonte, four young African-American men from the heart of Chicago’s tough streets who travel to Senegal. Using the bucket drum as a conduit, they release intense emotions and explore their inner imaginative spirits. This life-changing event takes them to a place their minds never deemed possible.

“Armed with no more than a bucket and a pair of sticks, they hit the beat every day, entertaining the masses to earn a living and provide an escape from the harsh realities that plague their lives,” says Elilta Tewelde, the visionary mind behind the project. This journey serves as a rite of passage, as it further enhances their sense of spiritual and emotional well-being, and allows them to directly link their passion for bucket drumming and their African heritage.

The drummers participated in a two-week drumming workshop with Senegalese Griot Percussionist, Medoune Gueye (aka Papa Dame.) Chicago filmmakers Mallory Sohmer and Kate Benzschawel came aboard to lead production and tell the story. Traveling with the Chicago boys to Senegal we captured some amazing footage and experiences. 

The film itself is in its final stages of post production and in order to professionally complete the film, the film crew and director are seeking funding in order to fully finish the film. You can  find more information on their indiegogo page.

Drum Beat Journey is a documentary about young men connecting cultures

Drum Beat Journey is a documentary about young men connecting cultures

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DBJ - Senegal

UrbanCusp.com is a cutting-edge online life.style magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. The site offers a platform for young adult perspectives, profiles inspirational visionaries and artists, and serves as an online community for change agents who are like-minded. Founded in 2011 by Rahiel Tesfamariam, Urban Cusp highlights voices, ideas and images not commonly found within mainstream media.

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