Black Panther live in concert will feature ‘talking drum’

Sixth anniversary of the iconic film’s release
Massamba Diop. Courtesy photo.

The Grand Rapids Symphony invites movie and music lovers to attend a performance of the award-winning score of “Black Panther” live to picture on Feb. 16 and 17, 2024 on the sixth anniversary of the film’s release date.

Massamba Diop. Courtesy photo.

The presentation is licensed by Disney Concerts in association with Marvel Studios and directed by Ryan Kyle Coogler. The film tells the story of T’Challa’s journey to be crowned the new king of Wakanda after the death of his father, but is challenged by the appearance of an old enemy named Killmonger, which puts both Wakanda and the world at risk.

Teaming with the Dora Milaje, his little sister Shuri and his CIA ally Everett K. Ross, T’Challa must harness the powers of the Black Panther to fight his enemy and save Wakanda from destruction.

“If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch a film with a live orchestra, you do not want to miss this experience,” Grand Rapids Symphony CEO Keith C. Elder said. “Captivating storytelling and Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar and Grammy-winning score come together for an evening that will transport our audience to the vibrant world of Wakanda. We invite the community to come see your Grand Rapids Symphony for this immersive cinematic experience that is truly a treat for the senses.”

Duo Shen at Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens in Hrand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday July 13, 2023. Photo by Alfield Reeves.

World-renowned talking drum artist Massamba Diop will join the symphony for the performance, which will be conducted by Grand Rapids Symphony Assistant Conductor Duo Shen. Grand Rapids will be Diop’s third show this winter. He’s performed drums at “Black Panther” concerts in New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia. His expertise with the tama, also known as a talking drum, led to him and the instrument being prominently featured in the film’s score. The tama orginiates from Senegal, West Africa and is known for its ability to replicate the sounds of human speech.

“The rhythmatic energy Massamba brings to this performance will be an exciting surprise for guests,” Shen said. “If you’re a fan of the film, you’ll feel even closer to the story by having the captivating score played right in front of you. We’re so excited for to bring this experience to our community.”

Two showtimes will be offered for the concert: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16 and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. Both performances will be held at the DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. Tickets, starting at $22, may be purchased online or by calling the box office at 616.454.9451 or at the venue the day of the concerts.

The film is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 2 hours 14 minutes.


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