Java Djembe dance troupe jams at the Duke Theater at Lake Tahoe Community College
August 8, 2008
Java Djembe is drumming up support for an important nonprofit agency.
Tahoe Youth and Family Services will receive proceeds from the drum and dance troupe’s Aug. 8-9 performances at Lake Tahoe Community College’s Duke Theater. Also benefiting will be the LTCC Foundation, which helped get the program started, and Marsha Saroski Dance Studio, the longtime Java Djembe rehearsal site on South Shore.
When Liz Brosco came up with an idea to create Java Djembe, she approached Eli Stevenson, the who heads the Tahoe Youth and Family Services mentor program, and Elena Amodeo, the president of the board of directors.
“I was one of the original guinea pigs,” Stevenson said. “She said ‘I have this idea and can I practice on you and Elena?’ She put together the drumming curriculum. It seemed to work. She opened it up to other people and it just grew from there.”
Brosco, who began the program in 2000, leads the Java Djembe at South Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Reno. There are six to eight public performances each year.
“(Eli and Elena) have enlightened me over the last year what their program does for community,” Brosco said.
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According to its Web site, the mission of Tahoe Youth and Family Services is to promote the healthy development of the children, youth and families of the community by providing counseling, education and support groups.
The LTCC Foundation purchased the first djembes ” a type of West African drum ” for Brosco’s class. The arm of the college also funded Brosco’s recent trip to Portland, Ore., where she studied under Famoudou Konate, a master drummer from Guinea.
Brosco’s troupe is named Java Djembe because it first practiced at the Alpen Sierra coffee company’s warehouse. It now practices at Marsha Sarosik Dance Studio.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the shows start at 7 p.m. with a performance by guitarist Wes Orsolic, who plays with Brosco in the band Raw Nature. Tickets are $15 and are available at Tahoe Youth and Family Services main office at 1021 Fremont Ave., behind Freshies and Baskin Robbins, (530) 541-2445 and (775) 782-4202. Tickets also are on sale at Gaia-Licious Global Gifts, 542-4244 and at the box office the nights of the show.