Idea:  West African Djembe, the original form of communication
Primary artistic medium: music


Who we are. Hello I am Saantis Davis of SFD Music. We are a music company that focuses on music education and performance. We specialize in traditional West African music and percussion from all parts of the world. I am from Philadelphia but trained in New York and now I came back to my hometown to share my gift with the youth. I believe music is the way to unify people.

What we are doing now. I am the creative director of “Benu Ausar Philadelphia” (sound of the creator). The group was founded in 2014. We are a group that performs Traditional Guinea West African pieces all over the United States. I am also a music educator. I have done workshops at many organizations and schools like: South Philadelphia high school, Philadelphia Ballet, Philadelphia public school system, Temple University, PA public library, George Mason Uni, Democratic National Convention, Friends Schools, and many more. We work with the adults and youth to educate them on percussion instruments from around the world and how to play them.

Background. I have over 20 plus years of experience playing music and 10 years of teaching. I was raised in traditional African culture so I was born with my instruments. I was taught by master drummers from around the world. I have studied under Tchet Kater, Brother Yao of Asase Yah Drum, and Dance & Basi Kolo, Dende Macedo. These world-renowned teachers taught me when I was young working with Benu Ausar Drummers and Dancers of New York. I was a part of this group during my pre-teen, teenage and adult years. We traveled all across the world to Europe, Canada and the United States. We performed at the Apollo theater for a week-long for African drum and dance play.

As you can see, music is in my blood. I love teaching the youth. My experience has allowed me the skill of teaching any and everyone. My passion comes from the elders who taught me, the culture I represent and the youth that look to me as an example. I know I am a humble part of the cycle of music. I was once the youth looking to the masters for guidance and now I am the teacher guiding the youth and one day I wish to be the elder who inspires so many youth to become master drummers.

Project Description

Using traditional Guinea West African rhythms to connect people: a powerful performance of West African sound plus educating people on the history of the djembe and how it was used to communicate to the village. Then having a West African drum class where the demonstrators and the participants learn to communicate and share in the experience.