FREE on the Lawn

Abasi Hanif plays the djembe drum

FREE ON THE LAWN / Drum Circle with Abasi Hanif

Wednesday, August 10 / 7PM-9PM

The Norton offers free community programs outside on the northeast corner of the Museum property (at Jefferson Road and South Olive Avenue).

On Wednesday evenings, join Abasi Hanif, pick up a drum or your own acoustic instrument, participation encouraged! Mr. Hanif teaches rhythms, their accompanying parts, and gives participants a chance to freestyle over a steady rhythm.

This is a FREE program

Program located at the northeast corner at Jefferson and South Olive

About the Artist

Abasi “Manblack” Hanif is a teaching artist, spoken word poet, West African drummer, event host and community organizer. He is the son of news writer, editor and teacher C. B. Hanif and fiber artist and teacher Kianga Jinaki. Mr. Hanif has owned and managed Livin The Rhythm for twelve years, hosting community drum circles throughout South Florida. He is a music accompanist for Palm Beach Atlantic University and the African Drum Director for Sounds of Success Community Band and Drums Over Guns Youth Program. He is one of the four founding members of Men of Blackness (Conscious HipHop) and a Black Cultural Event Planner with RBG of South Florida. The writer and actor has performed in Broadway Productions, including Sundiata, Pleasant City: Thee ChoreoPoem, Waking Kya and Chocolate Nutcracker, and has been nominated for numerous awards, including the 2014 Clyde Fyfe and the 2015 African American Achievers Award.

About the Djembe Drum

The djembe drum is most likely about 400-800 years old, and was created during the Malian Empire by the Mandé people. It spanned the modern-day countries of Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, northern Burkina Faso, western Niger, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and northern Ghana. The Mali Empire grew out of an area referred to by its contemporary inhabitants as Mande. Mande, named for its inhabitants the Mandinka (initially Manden’ka with “ka” meaning people of), comprised most of present-day northern Guinea and southern Mali. The empire was originally established as a federation of Mandinka tribes called the Manden Kurufa (literally Manden Federation), but it later became an empire ruling millions of people from nearly every ethnic group in West Africa.

It is taught that the Blacksmiths made the first djembes, making each drum custom-fitted to the drummer who would play it. This makes sense as they would be the people to cut the tree. The making of the drum was spiritual, and the blacksmith was obliged to make offerings to the spirits of the trees he cut down. With the lengue tree, a sacrifice would be made to ask for permission to cut the tree for a djembe. Once the blacksmith finished the djembe, it was delivered to the drummer who commissioned it, a member of the jeli caste. The jeli are musicians, who are responsible for the oral history of their people. This remains true to today.

Traditionally, the djembe is played only by men, as are the dunun that always accompany the djembe. Conversely, other percussion instruments that are commonly played as part of an ensemble, such as the shekere (a hollowed-out gourd covered with a net of beads), karignan (a tubular bell), and kese kese (a woven basket rattle), are usually played by women. Even today, it is rare to see women play djembe or dunun in West Africa, and African women express astonishment when they do see a female djembe player.

Abasi Hanif

CDC COVID-19 Community Level for Palm Beach County: HIGH

Current Health and Safety Policies:

 MASKS REQUIRED
 TEMPERATURE TAKING REQUIRED 
SOCIAL DISTANCING ENCOURAGED 
MUSEUM AND EVENT CAPACITIES LIMITED 
 VACCINATION AND BOOSTERS ENCOURAGED (NOT REQUIRED)
 

The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level for Palm Beach County is currently High. In response to this, the following general policies are in effect at the Norton: 

  • Masks are mandatory indoors throughout the Museum campus (ages 2+), regardless of negative tests or vaccination status, except while eating or drinking. Masks are provided upon request. 

  • Temperature taking is required upon entering the Museum. Visitors with a temperature of 100.4 F or above will not be admitted. 

  • Capacities will be limited for the Museum and in certain indoor event spaces. Guests are encouraged to reserve admission online in advance.

  • Guests are encouraged to practice social distancing, maintaining 6 feet of space from others. 

  • For the safety of all visitors and the Museum’s staff and volunteers, the Norton encourages visitors to get vaccinated and boosted in accordance with CDC guidance, though this is not required for admission. 

Please note that the Norton’s COVID-19 policies remain subject to change as circumstances evolve. Visit norton.org/covid-19 for the most up-to-date information. 

The Museum will continue to conduct heightened cleaning and sanitation and will continue to provide mask to visitors who request them.

These policies are informed by guidance and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards 

For the most up-to-date information from the CDC, click here. 

View daily updates on the CDC's COVID Data Tracker here.

If you are unable to visit us in person, please visit The Norton Channel for a wide range of virtual resources, activities, and programs. 


Know before you go! 

The health and safety of our guests is a top priority for the Norton Museum of Art.