Every year the Drumsistas, Sherry Gingras’ all-women’s student drum ensemble with up to 35 drummers, hold a celebratory Spring Benefit Concert to support a cause that is in alignment with the group’s ideals. This year’s concert will take place from 7 to 10 p.m., April 9, and will benefit Ingoma Nshya, a group that is especially close to the Drumsistas’ hearts.
Founder of Ingoma Nshya, Kiki Katese, envisioned a women’s drum troupe made up of women from both the Tutsi and Hutu women, those on opposing sides in the horrific genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. Though women in Rwanda were not allowed to drum at the time, Katese knew that through the rhythms and music of the drum, combined with empowerment, camaraderie, courage and forgiveness, it was possible to achieve sisterhood and outcomes. Ingoma Nshya evolved into a group more amazing than she even dreamed was possible.
The Drumsistas are flying Katese to Austin from Rwanda to receive their gift of the proceeds and to share the stories of the women of Ingoma Nshya and their effect on Rwanda as it transitions from a country devastated by conflict and unspeakable violence into a country where the sacredness and joy of being alive is returning to the hearts of its people, and hope and possibility is real again. The Drumsistas, Austin’s own women drummers creating exciting African music, will be joined by The Djembabes, Austin’s favorite professional women’s West African-style drum song troupe, SeVana, a women’s marimba group playing South African music, a rockin’ guest gospel group, Art Martinez on sax, and assorted other surprise Austin musicians.
Cost: $15. Location: Unity Church of the Hills, 9905 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit DrumsistaDreamsConcert.eventbrite.com or call 512-453-9090.