Playing For His Life
OffBeat Magazine|February 2020
Darius Lyndsley is on a mission to turn his art into something more.
Paul Sanchez

Darius Lyndsley, “Da Bucket Banga,” beats his buckets on a curb outside of Belle’s Diner in the French Market—lifting the bucket slightly with his foot to provide different musical tones. He flips his sticks high in the air, catching them without missing a beat. Someone drops a five, missing the bucket, and the bill floats to the ground. But before the wind can blow it away, Darius has deftly scooped it into the bucket with one hand, keeping the beat with his other.

Darius is not just playing music; he is playing for his life.

“I’m from the 9th ward, lived on the Westbank a little bit with my grandma, but I been [living in the] 9th ward mostly.

“When I was eight, my momma came home with some drumsticks ’cause she worked at a live music bar. That night I was drumming in the house and she told me ‘don’t drum in the house.’ The next morning I went outside and was drumming on everything. I got underneath the house and found these buckets with a little bit of paint in them. I started beating on them, messed up my new shoes for school and everything with the paint.

“The next day they dried out and I just kept going.

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