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Cut the Rug and Share some Love

Article Published: Feb. 18, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, live music will be had to raise money to send to Haiti, and attendees are encouraged to dance along.

The theme is Afro-Caribbean, and there will be a DJ and live band performing at 10 p.m. at Char in downtown Boone.

"We wanted to put a positive spin on the issue and are trying to think of more creative ways to help Haiti," said Abby Osinjolu, president of the Appalachian African Community.

Osinjolu started a group called Appstate for Haiti that has been coming up with new ways to help the earthquake-ravaged country of Haiti each week. Over the holiday, club members sold Valentine's Day cards and gave the proceeds to the relief effort.

Osinjolu said that the dance event at Char will be a good place for people to find out about foreign music and dance.

"This is a great example of how international students on campus can really influence the entertainment that comes to the area," said Natalie Best, assistant director of ASU International Student and Scholar Services. "People in Boone can see there is lots of diversity on campus. We are glad that students are getting out into the town and creating entertainment."

"Just enjoy yourselves and help during the process," Osinjolu said. "You can enjoy helping other people, and it (gathering) is also a motivator not just to help Haiti, but everyone around you."
Shawn Roberts will be playing traditional Haitian music with several others. A song from Ghana, "Tomiyielu," will be played at the benefit. The song deals with the power of the Earth's resources being shaped into structures that men use. "Tomiyielu" deals specifically with building houses, and Roberts hopes to bring practically traditional music to the event to benefit the Haitian people.
Roberts said that while drumming, the drummers sometimes are taken over by the spirit of the music. They will tap the drum against the ground three times to shirk the spirit out of respect. Roberts said that the drummers do this because they are instruments in the making of the music.

Roberts found appreciation for African music when he was living in Vermont. A group of African men and women who were musicians welcomed him into their community and taught him to play drums. He said that one day, while he was trying to play well, a teacher of the music asked him,
"The rhythm exists. Are you ready to find your place in this existence?"

Roberts said the instruction led him to an understanding of the reverence needed for this ancient practice. He has been playing drums consistently since then.

The event will be an "interactive" one, and those who don't know how to dance to Afro-Caribbean music, or at all, can learn at Char. Music won't be localized to Afro-Caribbean, and there will be a mixture of hip-hop, techno and others.

Cost at the door is $3, and all the proceeds gathered will be donated to Samaritan's Purse's Haiti relief work. Char is located at 179 Howard St. in downtown Boone.

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