Percussion Perfection at the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival 2012

Drumlines have traditionally played a big role in the African-American community of Memphis. Not only were such groups part of junior high and high school band programs, but they were also sponsored by community centers, drill teams and majorette organizations. Similar African-American drumlines can be found in other cities around the country, suggesting that the popularity of percussion bands in Black communities is not unique to Memphis. At least one theory about this activity is that the use of western drums and the association of them with patriotic or military functions or school and community functions allowed African-Americans in the South to continue African cultural practices that would have otherwise been suppressed. The drumline known as Percussion Perfection is a group of young men from various Memphis neighborhoods, but, unlike most drumlines, they are not sponsored by any school, church or community center. They appear unexpectedly in public spaces and events in Memphis, playing for tips from their listeners. Their unexpected appearance at the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival was especially appropriate, as their drum cadences and intricate dance moves are a fundamental part of the Memphis heritage. 

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