Drumming for Southside
Drumming for Southside, a documentary film about a unique group of young African American men and women bucket drummers ages 10-19- from the Southside of Chicago. It will take the young bucket drummers to Africa for three weeks and immerse them in a traditional drumming culture. At the end of the experience, the young drummers will be provided with scholarships to musical programs in the Chicago area.
Drumming for Southside (DFS) is a documentary about a unique group of young
African American men from the Southside of Chicago; which is a hard place to grow up in
and even harder place to get out of. Their uniqueness comes from an affection to the art
of bucket drumming. Coming from poorly funded music programs in public schools
combined with low-income households, access to classical drum sets and musical
lessons are insufficient. Despite the circumstances, these young drummers hone their
craft by playing the bucket drums as a means of income and an escape from street life.
They can be spotted playing all over the city, from the dead of Chicago's brutal winter to
the height of the scorching summer. DFS aims to bring light to the life stories of an under
represented group of musical geniuses by chronicling their everyday struggle. Aside
from giving insight into what they are faced with to pursue their craft, DFS will merge
these young talents with experienced world-renowned drummers to create a rare
opportunity. DFS will take the boys to Africa for three weeks and immerse them in
traditional drumming culture. They will live in a village with tribal elders that come from a long lineages of drummers. The Elders will teach them the historical significance of
drumming. This exposure will create an opportunity for the young drummers to live outside
their current environment and participate in a culturally enriched setting. At the end of the
experience, the drummers will be provided scholarships to musical programs
In the metro Chicago area to help improve their knowledge of drumming and to create
opportunities. The journey from the streets of Chicago to a small village in Africa will be
life changing for all people involved including the audience. DFS will document the lives,
struggles and dedication to the art of bucket drumming and instill hope in future inner-city
youth here and abroad.