For most of my life, rhythm was a conundrum. While I was studying ceramics in RISD, I picked up a congo drum thinking, How hard could it really be? Bang the drum head with my hand badda-boom-badda-bing, right? Nope. My sounds bounced in every direction, like wild radioactive popcorn. I gave up quickly, discouraged. However, a decade later, I wanted to take another stab at drumming with a proper lesson. Why? because everything about it is just awesome—the sound, the pulse, the energy.
When I started to take my lessons with Jaqui, I was very nervous—like a tiger that’s been eating tofu all its life. First Jaqui quelled my anxiety by telling me that I had rhythm in me, all I had to do was tap into my heartbeat and follow that pulse. Though I still had many lessons to learn, those words started my joy for drumming on the djembe. She has this keen ability to make a super complex rhythm very simple and digestible.
Jaqui is not only an awesome teacher—with a plethora of years of experience under the guidance of other masters—but also one of the sweetest people you will meet. She will greet you as if you’ve been friends for years. Chungwon and I love going to her studio, the Magnolia House, to learn and play. Afterwards, we spend time chatting with her and watching her smile and laugh.
Recently, Jaqui found out that she has a tumor-like growth in her body, which requires surgery. Like many people around the world, she does not have medical insurance. We live in a time where the things we “want” are easily accessible, whereas the things we “need” are out of reach for many—like a carrot on a stick. When we heard the news, a lot of us contributed our time and resources to help our dear community member to get better with positive energy. There will be a fundraising event coming up in Baltimore called Night of Joy! A Benefit Celebration for Jaqui MacMillan coordinated by Rebecca Proch. Every contribution is helpful and welcome—even a grand mansion started out from a single brick. If you would like to know how to help, please contact Jaqui. Our life is brightest when we all contribute to help others in need, the essence of humanity.
Drum for Joy and Fundraising Event
» Drum For Joy
» Magnolia House Studios
» Night of Joy! A Benefit Celebration for Jaqui MacMillan
Canon EOS 7D
EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
Speedlite 580EX II