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Rhythm Mission to Lead World in Potsdam Festival

[A photograph for media use is available at]

An evening of worldly instruments and music is the basis for this year’s main spectacle at the World in Potsdam Diversity Festival.

"The Rhythm Mission" concert, a mix of multi-cultural music, promises to take audience members on a musical journey to Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, the United States, and points beyond, delighting listeners young and old. rhythm

The concert will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. at Clarkson University’s Downtown Snell Hall Auditorium. There will also be a chance to see a shorter presentation during the World in Potsdam Festival. The 15th annual festival will take place on the same day from noon to 4:30 p.m. at Clarkson University’s Cheel Campus Center.

The Rhythm Mission duo, Steve Leicach and Tony Vacca, have been delighting audiences across the globe with their dynamic, inspired, and virtuistic percussion and world music performances for over 20 years.

Their sound is both ancient and contemporary, drawing from the profound and earthy village traditions of African and Afro-Caribbean drumming and percussion music, to the urban sound of the modern day drum set and contemporary spoken word.

Leicach is a master drummer, composer, and educator who has been drumming for over 37 years. He has studied and performed in Africa and the United States and is an expert in Ghanaian drumming, African and Afro-Caribbean hand drumming technique, drum improvisation, percussion theory, and traditional instrument making. He’s highly accomplished on a wide range of many ethnic instruments including congas, djembe, balafon, shekere, and talking drums.

Vacca is a musician, composer, and educator who has worked with some of the most popular musicians in the world, such as Sting. His music reflects the many sources of rhythm in America, and the worldwide confluence of percussion traditions that has fueled the rediscovery of the power of the drum. Vacca’s trips to West Africa have resulted in his unique approach to playing the balafon and his depth of knowledge regarding the common ground between African and American traditions.

The World in Potsdam Diversity Festival not only highlights the world’s cultures and peoples, but it also brings members of the Potsdam community together to celebrate the town’s unique and diverse cultural heritage.

The World in Potsdam Diversity Festival is sponsored by Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam and the Village of Potsdam.

For more information on The Rhythm Mission, go to

For more information on the World in Potsdam Diversity Festival, please visit

Photo caption: Tony Vacca & Steve Leicach.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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