Afro-Haitian Beats on San-Francisco Streets

BART Plaza Dances with Beats on the Corner

According to MissionLocal

At 24th Street BART plaza Thursday afternoon, the syncopated beats of an Afro-Haitian percussion ensemble mixed with the typical street noise of the busy Mission corner. Making this public space a little bit more funky was Beats on the Corner, a program designed to impart lessons in music—with a side of politics—to local high school students.

As more than a dozen students sporting white shirts and Haitian flag bandanas, played snare drums, cowbell, traditional Cuban horns, and a maraca or two, the crowd was certainly feeling the art part of Beats on the Corner’s mission. More than a few people danced to the seductive beats. In the duration of their 50 minute, high-energy set, students danced, chanted, and sang out loud to the rhythms of traditional Haitian tunes.

“The youth will continue the 40 years of percussion history in the Mission,” said Alfie Macias the group’s instructor following the performance. For Macias, a professional percussionist who has trained in Brazil, teaching students the art of drumming is vital part of preserving the culture of the neighborhood. Continue Reading

Daniel Brevit sings to a pair of girls who became friends after the previous dance. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

Daniel Brevit sings to a pair of girls who became friends after the previous dance. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

Some students had learned dancing along with the drums. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

Some students had learned dancing along with the drums. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

Daniel Brevit, completely focused. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros

Daniel Brevit, completely focused. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros

Vocals, cow bell, maracas -- the group's repertoire is diverse. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

Vocals, cow bell, maracas — the group’s repertoire is diverse. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

 

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