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Questions For: Abbey Onikoyi 

Spirits of Africa Gallery owner

NEW TIMES Can you describe what a drum circle is?

ONIKOYI It’s a drum get together of love and music. It’s a way for people to embrace the weekend, away from work and the computer screens. That’s what I use it for. I want to have people come together through the rhythm of music.


NEW TIMES How can people join?

ONIKOYI We have a drum circle every Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Spirits of Africa gallery. If people have their own drums they can pay $7 to join in, and if you don’t have a drum we have ones available for purchase for $20. People also come and dance and relax—which is free. Not many people want to be at the bars and drinking; this is a good, relaxing alternative to that. You can bring your family and kids and just dance and relax.


NEW TIMES How long have you been performing at Farmer’s Market?

ONIKOYI The drum circle has been at the gallery for four years. We’ve recently been at Farmer’s Market once or twice a month. We’re usually down there if it’s a special holiday—like Martin Luther King Day or Valentines.


NEW TIMES What is people’s reaction?

ONIKOYI They love it! They think we’re from out of town, and I tell them that we’re local and do it every Saturday. We bring singing and joy, and if people aren’t too shy they dance. It’s Africa in SLO-town!


NEW TIMES Tell us about your gallery’s new location.

ONIKOYI We’re moving to 672 Higuera St.—next to West End Tea and the dance studio—within the first week of March. It’s a much bigger spot, so we can fit more people in for the drum circle.

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