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Fame Without Fortune

Fame Without Fortune, 2005 by Jordan Benissan

Jordan's crossing

African drummer Benissan continues to bring the old world into the new

BY SAM PFEIFLE

Like the Christian missionaries who once infiltrated his continental homeland, West African drummer (and more) Jordan Benissan is converting Maine listeners one at a time. Making some serious hay during his summer holidays away from his gig teaching music at Colby College, Benissan has worked the festival circuit hard, playing just about every town square and outdoor gathering spot in Central Maine over the past few years.
Heck, after getting one look at our 2004 Best Music Poll event, Benissan quickly asked if he could play it in 2005. And there he was this past May, hammering an African drum and strumming some kind of wire hooked up to a tin can and electrified on a stage in front of every rocker and punk in the Portland music scene -- who enjoyed every minute of it.



Let Me Play My Music

Let Me Play My Music, 2004 by Jordan Benissan
From a review in Face Magazine:

Colby College faculty member Jordan Messan Benissan is a master drummer. Also a member of the Ewe People, he studied for a decade with traditional master drummers from the Ewe, Ashanti, Ga and Yoruba people of West Africa, and has been performing ever since in order to master his instrument. And that?s all Jordan asks, that we let him play his music, to use his music, as the title cut asks, to "merge the individual with community, past and present, body and soul. I want to awaken you to the sound of my drums."



Beautiful Music from West Africa





Drumming Through the Spirit of My Ancestors