Dallas Drum Djam - April 2015

            The Dallas Drum Djam is a weekly gathering of peoples who enjoy peace, love, and music at a bar called The Green Elephant. Every Wednesday, a community of all ages and walks of life come to participate in tribal drumming, peruse the wares of the merchants, or dance the night away. The drum circle is not just home to drums, but also a variety of other instruments that change each week depending of what is brought. Accompanying the drumming may also be a harp, harmonica, violin, cello, didgeridoo, or possibly a singer. There are also plenty of individuals who go out to practice and enjoy hula hooping or poi and will have color changing light-up gadgets that create beautiful designs through the air around the performers. For those who enjoy a bit more risk, there are also fire performers that will swing poi, crack a flaming whip, breath fire, or otherwise perform with any number of various flaming instruments on stage. Through photography, I enjoy capturing the diversity and culture of this event. My images reveal the color and energy involved each week and in each photograph, the subjects’ individuality is allowed to shine through. The tone in the photographs ranges from dramatic, humorous, enigmatic, and compassionate while always trying to remain energetic and casual. In capturing the atmosphere of the drum djam, a long exposure with a pop of flash was used to capture both the movement and individualism of each subject. Most of the images capture each character candidly and they are either looking off camera or, most often, have are lost in the music with their eyes close. The two photographs, the subject stares down the camera but exude an aura of confidence, dignity, and compassion as each either tries to sell their wares or help distribute free food. If there was one word to describe the Dallas Drum Djam series or any individual image within, it is self-expression.

Jet Yonkin