Japanese, American Indian and African drum groups in free concert here Saturday St. Thomas Newsroom October 12, 1999 Drum groups from three cultures — Japanese, American Indian and African — will share the stage in a concert, “Spirit of the Drum: Many Nations, One Voice,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in Brady Educational Center auditorium at the University of St. Thomas.The concert, open to the public, is presented by the University of St. Thomas Powwow Committee. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted.Featured will be three Minnesota-based groups that have performed nationally:• The Japanese group, Kogen Taiko, which has 12 to 15 members;• The African group, Sankofa, led by Sowah Mensah, a member of the St. Thomas music faculty;• An American Indian drum group led by drummer and singer Lakota Clairmont.While the traditional-music performances will include some singing and accompanying instruments, the concert’s focus clearly will be the drum. Each of the groups will perform for about 45 minutes.Dr. Robert Qualls, associate dean of St. Thomas’ School of Continuing Studies and a member of the Powwow Committee, said each group will give a presentation on the role of the drum — how it is used and what it means — in their culture.“Throughout history drumming has played an important role in the lives of nearly all indigenous peoples,” he said. “Bringing together these three groups, which trace their roots to different cultures and different regions of the world, shows the powerful, common connections we all share through the drum.”For more information about the drum concert, or the 12th annual St. Thomas Powwow that will be held Nov. 6 and 7, call Qualls at (651) 962-5957.