THE NGC TT Tassa Academy has created a tassa academy website which began offering online classes from May 1.
The academy had to discontinue classes at its Mt Stewart Village, Princes Town base due to the covid19 restrictions. This setback due gave birth to the idea for online classes.
The website gives access to members, who register online, to one-on-one classes with Lenny Kumar, a tassa drummer for 48 years and founder of TT Sweet Tassa. Sessions are conducted via Zoom and payment is also done online. Kumar also worked alongside Digital Business Ltd to create the first tassa app, and is well known as the creator of the renowned tassa hand “chutney”, a style of tassa drumming, the release said.
For Kumar, this project is all about preserving tassa. He said, “I would like to preserve and protect the roots and original style of the art form of tassa drumming, to positively promote the culture and to produce an appreciation for the culture within and beyond the shores of TT.”
The academy said it sees the online sessions as integral to its mission of ensuring that tassa drumming continues to grow and develop despite the current covid19 restrictions.
"The online sessions have been well received by students thus far, and will continue to be relevant for tassa enthusiasts who cannot attend classes in person, and may prefer to learn the art of tassa drumming from the comfort of their homes," the academy said.
The website also caters to international students to log on for classes and also learn about TT's culture.
The NGC has sponsored the Sweet Tassa group since 2014 but the group launched the academy in 2017.
NGC’s corporate communications manager Lisa Burkett said in the release, “NGC Sweet Tassa Academy’s online initiative demonstrates our continued resilience as a people. We all must make the requisite changes as we adjust to our new normal. We urge the band to continue gaining momentum, and promoting our country and our culture, both locally and internationally.”
Anyone interested in learning more about tassa drumming can visit: https://www.sweettassaedu.com/.
The band will continue weekly updates on the website.