BeatRoot are part of the Cupar Djembe Workshop that meets every two weeks at the YMCA in Cupar, Fife, and is supported by Awards for All and Fife Council.
In the Autumn of 2003, Tracy and Amanda attended the ‘Drum Spirit’ Workshop held in Kirriemuir, and opened discussions with Steve Haden about forming a Drumming Circle in Fife.
After visiting several venues, Tracy found some employees of the Cupar YMCA were interested in drumming and that this venue was available to hold the workshops. The greatest number of members we had at one time was about 20. Due to the Workshop’s popularity, it was planned to have a children’s group running alongside the main group; this did not happen as numbers dropped.
With help from VONEF (Voluntary Organisations in NE Fife) the group became a constituted voluntary organisation and received a Seedcorn Grant from Fife Council and Lottery money to forward the group’s aims and interest the public in joining; the workshops at the YMCA still take place every fortnight with Steve as our drumming teacher.
BeatRoot was formed in 2007 although most of us have been playing together since 2005. With tuition from Steve, we have built up a repertoire of traditional Manding rhythms from Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, Mali and Bourkina Faso.
BeatRoot has played at fetes, multicultural events and the Edinburgh Fringe; during the last few years we played numerous gigs that included community arts festivals, namely at Leven, Ladybank, Falkland, Springfield, Townhill, Oakley. We supported Fife Afro-Caribbean Association, played at St Andrews Student Union and played at several workshops around Fife. We have also had the privilege to be part of the evening entertainment at African Drum Village, in Glen Isla.
We believe in celebrating the cultural richness of West Africa through drum, dance and song.