Valerie Johnson is all about rhythm – literally – whether it’s the cadence of her voice when she’s talking with friends, or the cadence that emanates from her beloved djembe drum.
She’s a loyal member of the Galveston Djembe drum troupe that meets each Friday at Jimmy’s on the Pier, 9100 Seawall Blvd. The troupe is led by African drummer/businessman Mamady Sibidi, an island resident who was born in Guinea, West Africa.
During the summer months, Valerie can be seen performing aerials and angling with her surfboard in the Gulf of Mexico. On weekends, it’s all about the beat. She took some time to chat with Humans of Galveston during a break in the action at a recent drumming circle. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell me a little about yourself, Valerie.
“I’m a local island surfer and drummer. We meet at Jimmy’s every Friday. I’ve been drumming with Mamady since 2005.
“We do this every single Friday, and we encourage everybody to come and join us. Come and learn the rhythms and share some of the good vibes that we have flowing and that we get going. It’s a good time.”
What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations for the world?
“I would love for everybody to be treated equally … that everybody could just love one another and share the same views of happiness and equality.”