The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

Proposal For a City of Lancaster Summer Festival

Proposal For a

City of Lancaster Summer Festival

To: Mayor, Rex Parris, Vice Mayor, Ron Smith and City Council Members

From: Bob Howard, 2037 W Ave. J6, Lancaster, CA 93536, 661.951.3677

Date: January 2, 2011

Subject: A proposal for a summer festival


A couple of weeks ago I saw our Vice Mayor, Ron Smith at the Blvd. Cafe ask the public for Ideas for a summer

event on our newly renovated Lancaster Boulevard. I have what could be the making of a truly magnificent

summer festival in Lancaster. An event that would bring all people young and old together, ages 3 to 93. Its a

drum and dance / drum circle festival.




The benefits of a drum and dance /drum circle are many. The entertainers I have in mind, engage the audience

to participate. No one is left out. Kids to senior citizens are encouraged to join the action. In fact, the audience

becomes the entertainment. The entertainers bring the drums and percussion instruments. Sabrina Sandoval,

Director of Free to Be Me Drum Circles, based in Hermosa Beach has access to approximately 400 percussion

instruments. I think it would be great to have 2 to 3 drum circles throughout the day. Other entertainers I have

in mind specialize in African dance, and encourage the audience to dance as well. Drum circles have a way of

uniting all people. Everyone is equal. A little boy or girl can play right next to a corporate executive and share

in the fun.

Entertainment & Exhibitions

I already have confirmation of interest by renowned and outstanding performers in the music and drumming


• Sabrina is definitely interested in participating in our event. She mentioned she can bring other high caliber

musicians with her.

• Leon Mobley and Da Lion has travelled the world and performed with countless artist, musicians, and

dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela. I’m sure Leon Mobley can help gather other performers for this event.

Other entertainment and activities could include:

• Polynesian/Hawaiian drumming and dancing groups

The Cedar Performing Arts Academy, can create dance exhibitions.

• Our local resident artist at the artist loft building on Lancaster Blvd. can create artwork relating to

drumming and dancing.

• Our local high school marching bands can participate by creating an Afro-Cuban flavor in their drumming.

Other high school bands can be invited to participate.

• In addition to the main entertainment, we could have smaller drumming and dance workshops.


I would like this event to have a lot of audience and public participation. And one of the best ways to achieve

this is with a drum and dance / drum circle festival. No experience needed.

Free To Be Me Drum Circle

The Community Drum Circle is the use of a

rhythm based event as a tool for unity. It does not

use culturally specific rhythms. It is a fun, family

friendly event where people empower each other

in the act of celebrating community and life

through rhythm and music. People of all levels

of musical expertise come together and share

their rhythmical spirit with whatever drums and

percussion they are using. They don’t have to be a

drummer to participate. Everyone has something

to offer the circle and everyone is welcome.

The spirit and magic of rhythm expressed on

drums and percussion instruments cuts through

all ages, sexes, religions, roles and cultures.

Rhythm is a universal language known to

everyone, even the youngest child if we could “just


So, in a very objective, yet beautiful way, an

interactive rhythm event puts us all on an equal

footing with each other and brings us closer

together. The facilitator serves this process by

guiding the participants to their highest musical


A community drum circle is created “in the

moment” by all the people who participate.

Cooperation and collaboration is the basic goal.

When we drum together, sharing our spirit in the

form of rhythm, it changes our relationships. As we

play together, we give ourselves a rhythmical message

and an emotional release. The experience is unique to

each person in the circle, and it happens whether we

are involving ourselves in the circle by drumming, or

standing outside the circle and listening while tapping

our feet and clapping our hands along with the music

Sabrina Sandoval

Fiara de Libre Festival

Rolling Beats Inspire

Hermosa Drum Circle

Mayor Antonio Villaroigosa

at the Fiara de Libre Festival…


Leon MobleyFrom Wikipedia,

the free encyclopedia

Leon Mobley is a percussionist and drummer, founder

and artistic and musical director of Da Lion and Djimbe

West African Drummers and Dancers and a member of

The Innocent Criminals, Ben Harper’s band. He is presently

working with Damian Marley and Nas on the project

called “Distant Relatives” Leon Mobley’s natural talent and

infectious smile have taken him a long way. From child

actor on PBS Television show ZOOM (1971–1973) to touring

the globe as drummer / percussionist with Ben Harper

and the Innocent Criminals (1993–present), Leon’s sheer

exuberance and joie de vivre is ever present.

Leon began playing African drums in 1967, studying for

10 years under the tutelage of seminal Nigerian master

drummer Babatunde Olatunji at the Elma Lewis School of

Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1977 Leon studied

under the directorship of Senegalese master drummer

Ibrahim Camara (former drummer for the National Ballet

of Senegal) while a member of the Bokan-Deye Dance

Company. Leon was building a name for himself as a

drummer and became a much sought after player in the

world of African music. A testament to his new found status

as a major player on the African music scene was when

he was invited to South Africa in 1991 to perform with

returning exiles Letta Mbulu, Caiphus Semenya, and Hugh

Masekela, artists known worldwide as some of Africa’s

greatest musicians. One of the highlights of Leon’s career

was meeting and playing for Nelson Mandela when he was

released from prison after 27 years as a political prisoner.

Leon studied and performed from 1979 to 1981 in Surinam,

South America, Trinidad – Tobago and throughout the West

Indies. He continued his studies during 1982 in Senegal and Gambia. In 1987 and 1992 he traveled to

Japan, where he taught and performed West African Drumming and Dancing. While in Japan he visited

Sado Island, home of Kodo, the internationally acclaimed percussion group, in a cultural exchange

program. He has also performed and lectured throughout the US as well as toured Germany, Italy and

Israel producing, recording, conducting clinics and performing with his group Da Lion.

Like his mentor Olatunji, (who played for many years with Santana and other popular artists of the

day), Leon has succeeded in bringing African drumming into contemporary mainstream music and

has performed and recorded with many major artists in all genres. Among the many artists Leon has

worked with are: Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Peter Wolf, Mick Jagger, Quincy Jones, Santana,

Michael Jackson, Macy Gray, Trevor Hall, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Blind Boys of Alabama, Damian

Leon Mobley

Background information

Genres African music, reggae, rock, folk

Occupations Musician

Instruments drums, djembe, cajon, congas,

bongo etc.

Labels Virgin Records (with Ben Harper &

The Inocent Criminals)

Associated acts Da Lion and Djimbe West African

Drummers and Dancers



instruments Djembe

Marley, Jason Mraz, Madonna, The Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Gov’t Mule,

Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,

Timoria, Pierce Fucinni, Airto and Flora Purim, and more. Most recently,

Leon performed for a Gucci sponsored event at the United Nations

which raised 5.5 million dollars for UNICEF and Madonna’s charity

Raising Malawi. In addition to opening the event with a rousing drum

performance, Leon & Da Lion also accompanied the world acclaimed

African Children’s Choir.

With the knowledge Leon garnered from studying with some of the

greatest drummers in the world Leon is now regarded as a master

drummer in his own right[according to whom?]. Leon has been a

signature series artist with Remo who has manufactured and marketed

the Leon Mobley custom designed African drums since 1983. As an

ever seeking student of African drumming and culture for over 30 years

Leon has become a nationally and internationally sought teacher of West African Drumming and Culture.

While in Boston he taught at community centers, conducted school tours with the Art of Black Dance

and Music, and conducted workshops at Berklee College of Music. He also served as musical director

at Paige Academy, a private school in Roxbury,

Massachusetts. Leon continued teaching after

moving to Los Angeles in 1986, conducting weekly

classes at UCLA, Los Angeles Contemporary Dance

Theater, Parks and Recreation, and the Los Angeles

High School for the Arts on the campus of Cal State

(Los Angeles). Leon also contracted with the Music

Center on Tour Progam and presented African

drumming and dance to thousands of students

throughout Southern California.

Mobley is the founder and artistic and musical

director of Da Lion and Djimbe West African

Drummers and Dancers. He founded these two

groups in order to help preserve African cultures,

and present authentic traditional West African-

American dance and music to North American

audiences. Through these groups, Leon continues

his mission of educating others about the West

African people, their customs, history, and cultural

arts as well as the influence of Traditional African

drumming and music on African American art and

culture. Connecting the dots between African and

African American music Leon has developed a

fresh new approach to drumming which he calls

Traditional African American Music. This traditional

approach to new music enables Leon to illuminate

and bring to the forefront the traditional African

drum rhythms from which many Jazz, Funk, R&B

and Hip Hop rhythms are derived. Movie Clip 1 Movie Clip 2 Movie Clip 3 Movie Clip 4

Kwanzza Festival Activities

December, 2010

Colorful dancers

Children drumming

and dancing

January 19, 2011 Posted by | av sumer festival, dance and drum circle festival, Lancaster summer festival | , , | Leave a comment