Saturday, November 3, 2012

Djembe (JEM-be)

Brent and I find ourselves in lecture mode with Todd more and more often as the teenage years take a toll on our patience. One day’s topic centered on Brent’s opinion that Todd needed to get a worthwhile hobby—you know, one that didn’t require an electronic controller and over-priced, mind-numbing games. The talk went something like this:

Brent: “Todd, you need a hobby. When I was your age, I had lots of great hobbies. I loved bird-watching, participated in chess tournaments, collected stamps, and did lots of other stuff.”

I grimaced and gave a neck sawing motion to indicate Brent should arrest his speech outlining the varied and "exciting" hobby options before Todd died of a mocking spasm. Todd wasn’t paying very detailed attention (no duh) to the offered possibilities list and announced, “Okay. I want to do the djembe.” 

My puzzled and half-frightened look that djembe was code for some illicit drug cued Todd to explain a little further. “The djembe is a drum from West Africa made from a hollowed out section of a tree and a spine section of goatskin stretched over the top.” Figuring he was trying to get our goat (our goat…see what I did there?) and wasn’t serious, we called his bluff and negotiated the reward of djembe lessons based on improved school performance. Well, Todd called *our* bluff and hit the goal. Brent googled djembe lessons and found a teacher in Salt Lake. That was two years ago and the hobby has stuck. To say that Todd plays the djembe is to under speak. Todd breaths the djembe. It is a true blessing that he found a talent that he loves.

Here is a sample of Todd playing with his teacher at a Gala held in Davis County. (The group was playing during dinner so you can hear a lot of conversational back noise.) My favorite part happens around 1:40 when Todd and his teacher do a section of call and response. Andy, his teacher, plays a rhythm phrase and Todd immediately echos it back. These are impromptu, unrehearsed phrases. Cool stuff.


Andrea said...

Todd is such a cool kid! I really hope my kids will be able to find a passion for something and be good at it too. I love how unique this talent is!

Scott said...

He's amazing!

Russ said...

Holy cow, he's good!

Zimmerin said...

Crazy awesome!