There's a whole town just east of us giving that old truism "learning at the foot of the master" some legs … and some voice. Jazz master and Smithville native son Hannibal Lokumbe (né Marvin Peterson) came home to Central Texas to settle in Bastrop after Hurricane Katrina. For the past two years, the Grammy-nominated trumpeter/composer has led that entire community in some fantastical bursts of cross-cultural exploration and improvisation in two glorious citywide New Orleans New Years celebrations which featured area school students pumping out some seriously fine holy modal jazz, a community choir of everyday folks tackling rhythm and harmony and sounding like angels, honored guests like Irma Thomas, Dr. John, the Treme Brass Band, and more. This year, Africa Comes to Bastrop is not only the name of the holiday celebration for 2009 but what is going to go down, as Lokumbe and the entire city welcome West African master drummer Moussa Diabate and the 14-member Djeli Kunda drum and dance ensemble on the last Saturday of this year.
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