Watershed School will present The Roots of Rock & Roll: An Evening of African Rhythms and Culture Featuring Master Drummer Jordan Benissan Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at Union Hall, 24 Central St. in the village.

Benissan, who teaches African drumming at Colby College and currently is teaching an African drumming elective at Camden’s Watershed School, will be joined by Colby College musicians. Watershed drumming students will make a special appearance.

Benissan, a member of the Ewe people, was introduced to music and dance at an early age through ceremonies and rituals. He received his traditional music training from several West African master drummers. He has taught and performed for all levels, from elementary school through college level.

Some of Benissan’s performances include an opening show for the West African drummer Babatunde Olatunji; a performance for a national NAACP Conference; and performances for the Mayo Clinic's Multicultural Program. He has performed traditional African drumming and highlife music with master drummer Obo Addy at Colby College and with the Portland Symphony orchestra.

“What I love about African drumming is the connection I feel with the other drummers and how each of us plays together to influence the final piece,” says Watershed sophomore Alex Facq, who is taking the African drumming elective this semester. “Unlike in Western culture, where music and art is made into something we have to seek out, music is very much linked to the African culture at a fundamental level.”

All proceeds benefit Watershed School’s financial assistance program. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students, and can be purchased online at watershed-school.org.

Watershed School is an independent high school serving students who are looking for a challenging academic program in the context of a supportive and enthusiastic school culture. Watershed is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is a Maine State Approved High School. It also is affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools. For more information, call 230-7341 or visit the school’s website.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.