Thu July 13, 2023

Doug Hammond Griot Solo Performance w/ special guest Selene Saint-Aime (USA)

Doug Hammond: drums, percussion, recitals, sanza
special guest: Selene Saint-Aime: bass, vocals

We start the live stream approx. 1/2 hour before the concert begins (real time, no longer available after the end of the concert). By clicking on "Go to livestream" a window will open where you can watch the concert free of charge and without any registration. However, we kindly ask you to support this project via "Pay as you wish". Thank you & welcome to the real & virtual club!

When griot Doug Hammond sings, his words conjure the truth found in the lyrics of earliest American country blues players and to West African griots before them. He plumbs timeless truth in curious rhythms. How else can one take the line, “Your heart will never tell you a lie.” Hammond is a talented drumist who has worked with jazz greats over the decades. The list includes Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Kirk Lightsey and many others. There’s no question that Hammond can apply the sticks to skins at a high level. However, he is also poet and storyteller of note. He recently brought his Griot performance to Trinosophes Gallery and Cafe in Detroit (July 1 & 2, 2022), melding all those skills into two performances.
In the 1970s Hammond was part of the Detroit Jazz Tribe recording series. His return to the Motor City displayed a fluidity of souls while spitting his words and accompanying himself with drums and various percussion instruments. On Sanza (Kenyan thumb piano), he hearkens directly to an African griot vibe with Sanza chants and chords and his singing. Like the West Africans and primitive blues people, Hammond bespeaks wisdom of the ages in admonishing, “Peacemaking is what we need,” with an eye toward the wellbeing of the community.
His swing syncopations and beats underlie others of his songs; and still others take on rhythms feeling more angular or scattered through paths pushing the drumming in all directions.
Hammond is daringly solo as Griot. But it is this directness that allows him to speak to listeners’ hearts. It’s both inspirational and aspirational in its message and people-based wisdom, musically inquiring and ties together histories that need to be heard.
By Larry Gabriel, Former Writer/Editor of Metro Times and Detroit Free Press, August 2022