Youth Group Drumline Helps Kids Find Their Own Beat

By Ryan Ward | January 5, 2018


The Black Star Drumline likes to start things off with a bang.

“It’s entertainment for a lot of people,” Banks said. “People want to get an event started off with a bang, they always call us.”

Joey B. Banks founded the Black Star Drumline in 2008. The group is a non-profit youth organization based in Madison.

“There are 20 kids in the group,” Banks said.

While working at the Boys and Girls Club in Dane County, Banks saw an opportunity to create a group of diverse individuals and bring them together under one common factor, drumming.

“The four basic principles of what I kind of founded, it was diversity, respect for self and others, unity, and music,” Banks said. “Which is drum.”

The group would soon start doing events all over Wisconsin, taking part in various parades and festivals within the state. Over time, the events became bigger and bigger. Recently, they became the official drumline for the Milwaukee Bucks. They would also begin to create their own style.

“We’re like a hip hop drumline. We really have…we have our niche and kind of do our style of what drumline is,” Banks said. “But at the same time, they’re mastering technique and they’re mastering performance.”

Banks feels the group does more than teach someone how to bang a drum. He’s also seeing improvement and success outside the group as well.

“There’s a lot of leaders in this group. Kids excelling beyond the drum,” Banks said. “I think a lot of it has to do with the discipline. The focus and concentration and regime through the work ethic in drum line.”

The group is not only creating discipline for these kids. It’s creating relationships as well.

“It’s a great group of kids,” said Banks. “We’re really all pretty close. They’re going to be friends for life.”

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward is a producer for the “Wisconsin Life” project and can rest easy after he finally found the perfect jar of homemade dill pickles at the farmer’s market in Madison. … just like his Grandma Shirley use to make!
2018-01-19T17:53:32-06:00Tags: |

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