As part of a fundraiser to benefit the Strong Kids Campaign at the Montclair YMCAEloiza Jorge hosted percussionist Chris Blanco during her Tuesday Zumba class at the Park Street YMCA.  Almost 100 Zumba enthusiasts enjoyed the added beats, and close to $500 has been raised and pledged so far.

Chris drums at various dance classes in the area, including on Wednesdays at the Sharron Miller Academy for the Performing Arts. He also drums at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Chris counts Ossie Simmonds, a master Djembe performer and educator, as a mentor and elder.  This master performer with an impressive history of performance teaches Djembe Orchestra drumming in Newark on Sundays from 3-5 at the Spectrum African Dance Studio.  Ossie Simmonds is also available to add Djembe to weddings, classes, and parties. Contact him here for information about classes and performances.

If you would like to help send some kids who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise to camp this summer, contribute whatever amount you are able to here.  Many of us can remember anticipating camp activities and meeting new friends during a long, hot summer. Your donation can help build a summer of wonderful memories and experiences for children in our area.

For a taste of what Chris Blanco added to Elo’s class on Tuesday, check out this video:

YouTube video

Kristin Wald is a regular Baristanet contributor. She blogs at That Unique* Weblog.