Day of The Drum For Our Youth

Our Thank you's


What a success!!

The Day Of The Drum For Our Youth was about advancing the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the Drum, dance Immersion was able to successfully meet this objective with the amazing people who contributed.

Thank you to Amadou Kienou, Yohance Francis Parsons, and Rick Lazar for teaching the youths about techniques, history and rhythms. From beginning to completion, each instructor held the attention of the participants. Participants and parents left feeling nourished in what was shared.

Thank you to the participants and parents for your infectious joy!

Thank you to the beautiful ladies who ensured all of us were fed and hydrated throughout the day.

To our wonderful volunteers thank you for the support: 
Thank you Dennis for going above and beyond in capturing the photographs and video of this event.

Thank you to Driftwood Community Centre for providing a safe and clean environment for this event.

Thank you to Saikou Saho from African Drums & Art Crafts for providing the drums for our participants.

Thank you COMMUNITY who did not hesitate to help dance Immersion share this information far and wide.

BIG Thanks to Toronto Arts Council for funding this event, and thank you to our supporting funders: Ontario Arts Council and The Canada Council for the Arts.



Amadou Kienou - Born in Ouagadougou at Burkina Faso, Amadou Kienou is the 7th son of a family of praise singers from Dafing origin, originating from a tribe which settled down at the ancient Mandingue Empire. This tribe has extended right up to Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali. Praise singers (Griots) from father to son, they are very popular and renowned dancers and singers in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso. Most of them are musicians by profession.

Amadou has been initiated in music in his family mostly by his father, the late BABA KIENOU. In the sixties, this distinguished and famous traditional praise singer and musician brought his personal touch to big national and cultural events like the famous Djandjoba, and also to other African countries later on. Accompanied by his family, he perpetuated with his own touch what he had learned from his father and grand father in the Great Mandingue.

This ancestral flame was generously transmitted to the children by their father. These very talented children are solicited by several companies in Burkina Faso, Africa and elsewhere for the elaboration of great projects be it in the music, theatre or dance domain.

At younger age, AMADOU showed particular interest in the musical instrument, the Djembe. After much practice he has developed a great skill and is now referred to as "the drum master of Burkina Faso" since the years.

Yohance Francis Parsons started his musical career at the age of two at the Beaches Jazz Festival. As a young talented musician in the GTA community and founding member and active coach of Ngoma Drum and Dance Ensemble, Yohance Francis states that his love for music comes from the fact that it is an important part of his life that has always been at the centre of his being.

He lists Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson as his musical influences due to the whole picture approach they have maintained; from writing, arranging, producing and performing. He performed for the late Johnny Cochrane and values his experience at the Me to We Day Celebration, Muthadi Drum Festival in Tobago and the Reveration Night- Emancipation Day celebration performance at Cape Coast Castle, Ghana. Yohance is also a founding member and writer of Beyond Sound Empijah.

Rick Lazar was voted Percussionist of the Year five times by Jazz Report magazine. A uniquely versatile musician, Lazar is involved in a wide variety of innovative projects. He leads the Juno-nominated global jazz ensemble Montuno Police and has produced and released 4 CDs with this group: Bang, Juno-Nominated Touch, The Call, and Nomads. Rick has toured/recorded with such artists as Bruce Cockburn, Barry White, Paul Shaffer, Brian Hughes, Jesse Cook and Loreena McKennitt.

Rick is also the creator and artistic director of Samba Squad and has written, produced and released 3 CDs with this group: Samba Squad, Batuque and Que Beleza.

He is an educator at York University (ESCOLA DE SAMBA and CUBAN MUSIC courses). Lazar has developed hands-on workshop techniques, which are being successfully used in the Samba Kidz and Samba Teens programs. Rick’s knowledge of world drums and passion make him a unique percussionist who is first call for a diverse array of artists.