Grammy-nominated drummer celebrates Juneteenth

CLEVELAND — Weedie Braimah got into the music while practicing for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Juneteenth event.


What do you want to know

  • Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of black slaves in America
  • Weedie Braimah is a Grammy nominated drummer from Ghana
  • He will perform at the June 19 celebration at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • A group of dancers from the Djapo Institute of Cultural Arts will perform to his music

“It’s really amazing what they’re going to do with my music, you know, visually,” Braimah said.

Braimah is the musical director of Djapo Cultural Arts Institute. He said their dancers will perform to the beat of his music during the celebration.

“This group that I work with, and I’m also part of Djapo, were the leader and founders of the Juneteenth concerts and performances, [and] workshops in the city of Cleveland,” Braimah said. “I find it very honorable to be a part of it, certainly to have him in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

Braimah is a Grammy-nominated musician. He says he plays the djembe, a drum originating from West Africa.

“Even though in Ghana, where I was born, they don’t play this instrument. It’s very famous now all over Africa [and] around the world,” Braimah said.

Time Magazine listed Braimah’s project, “The Hands of Time”, as one of the top 10 albums of 2021.

“I mean, being number eight in the top 10 albums of 2021 by Time is [sic], It’s really unbelievable. It was right next to ‘Donda’, which was written by Kanye West,” Braimah said.

He said his Juneteenth performance came on the first anniversary of the release of his single “Ships Come In (A Lullaby)”.

“[The date] will be six one eight, which is the old area code for East St. Louis, where I grew up,” Braimah said.

Braimah added that he was proud to be part of an event that commemorates the emancipation of black slaves in America.

“Now I pray that we don’t turn this into a big moneymaking archive or something. But I’m really happy that people who are direct descendants of this day can celebrate as they should,” Braimah said. .

The June 19 celebration at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is free to the public and begins at 2 p.m.

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