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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2014

Fairfield percussionists to play at Des Moines Marathon

Oct 18, 2012

For the 10th consecutive year, the Des Moines-based Tubabu Percussion Ensemble will greet  runners of the Des Moines Marathon Saturday with djembe and dunun rhythms from West Africa.

The group performs just a short distance from the starting line, and then, once all the runners have scampered past, picks up and moves to the home stretch near the finish line to urge on the marathoners.

For Tubabu, the day is a percussion marathon, as they typically play from 8 a.m. to past noon.

“I like the energy and feeling our contribution to it,” said Tubabu’s Eric Hedberg. “I also like the endurance factor. It feels good to have our own drum marathon alongside their running marathon.”

“We enjoy every minute of it,” said the group’s Bob Miller. “To have thousands of people running right by you by at the start, full of energy, is quite an experience. We are cheering them on, and they often cheer us on as well.”

For runners, the drums provide an extra boost, especially toward the end of the race.

Marathoner Jodi Bonnett said, “I’ve run the IMT race three times and every time my favorite entertainment is the drummers — I love it when I get to see them twice. Their enthusiasm and upbeat tunes always bring a smile to my face and get me the inspiration I need to keep on going. I’m always amazed they drum that long. So inspirational.”

Tubabu members include: Eric Hedberg, owner of Hedberg and Son Roofing; Dan Kopatich, business analyst for Wells Fargo; James Lewin, technology analyst for the Principal Group; Sara Nadermann, HR director at Candeo Iowa; Michael Thompson, owner of Body Integrity Massage; and Fairfield’s Bob Miller, business analyst for Cambridge Investment Research.

The group will be reinforced for the third straight year with members of Foliba, a drum group based in Fairfield. Members include: Jo Lynn Gates, stained glass artist and international folk dance teacher; Dan Craig, chief financial officer for B. Hauptman & Associates; and Dave Winningham, software engineer at Cambridge Investment Research.

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