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Baba Jesse & Resounding Rhythms,
Resounding Strength- Resilient Song


For more Northern Spark 2019 images, visit our flickr album here. Watch our videos here: Northern Spark 2019.

This is an interactive-audience drum circle. “We Are Here,” to help invigorate you using centuries-old sacred traditions that are alive and vibrant.  International and Indigenous cultures welcome you to embody the Rondo neighborhood. Feel the beat, rhythm and movement of the djembe drum. Experience a refreshing through the drum call. Allow your feet to dance and head to sway. Your arms are free to move as subtle or wild as your spirit embraces the exchange of air to lungs and breath to heartbeat. Within the drum of your heart sense what regenerates ~ idea, thought, feeling of renewal. This is song, community, life ~ universal in Rondo.


Let the movement carry you to reconnect with Resounding Strength – Resilient Song.


“We Are Here–” hands to create, sound to enjoy, movement to explore

Resilience, Renewal, Regeneration.

From as old as the drum to as young as your spirit eager to play

From the newness of this drum experience

To the resurgence of your soul’s energy

From the setting of our sun to its rising

Baba Jesse & Resounding Rhythms

are here like the morrow’s Northern Spark.

B. Alison B.


Nurtured and shaped in the richness of Rondo, Baba Jesse has 40+ years of performing and teaching drums across the U.S. and in Minnesota Public Schools. Weekly you can find him at the Rondo Community library, teaching youth to play the djembe using their innate ability with his guidance.

Benita serves as project manager and lead dance artist for Resounding Strength ~ Resilient Song. She made her performance debut on her family’s recorded gospel single at 2-years old. She teaches African dance at a Blue-Ribbon charter school in Minneapolis and leads an all-girls drum circle at Rondo Community Library.

Jamani Buckner is a professional drummer in St Paul and teaches djembe and drum kit styles to youth and adults. He has taught Freedom School in Osseo School District and with summer youth programs. He brings his passion, creative energy and interpretive style to his first project with Northern Spark.

Courtney Thomas-Burnaugh received dance training privately and from Minneapolis schools of dance. She choreographs a variety of dance styles from impromptu African healing dance to hip hop and liturgical. Her experience spans 20+ years. She loves to motivate dancers specifically in small groups in a simplistic teaching environment.

TEAM CREDITS: Jemalle Buckner, 612 Media Arts; “Ms. Kayla” and Friendship Academy of the Arts Enrichment


Presented by


Hallie Q. Brown Community Center 270 N Kent St, St Paul, MN 55102

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9pm - 2am each night
Baba Jesse Buckner
(b.) Saint Paul
(works) Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Benita Buckner
(b.) Cincinnati, Ohio
(works) Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Jamani Buckner
(b.) Saint Paul
(works) Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Courtney Thomas-Burnaugh
(b.) Minneapolis
(works) Saint Paul & Minneapolis