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Global Arts: Cultural Literacy & Heritage

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MUSIC OF AFRICA AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

Regions: Africa
Formats: Community Event, Workshop, School Assembly, Cultural Field Trip, After School Program
Genres: Music
Levels: Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

Students learn about and play a variety of African percussion instruments made from natural materials. They learn and perform songs in a variety of African languages, collaborating with teaching artists and fellow student to create call-and-response and polyrhythms.

Artists

Women of the Calabash

Women of the Calabash

Women of the Calabash, founded in 1978, combines traditional instruments, vocals, and music forms with contemporary influences to perform music from Africa, the Caribbean, and black America. Under artistic director Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, Women of the Calabash uses moments during workshops and performances to teach the history and playing techniques of the various instruments used, giving context to the music they perform. Women of the Calabash shared billing with performers such as the Temptations, Richie Havens, Philip Glass, Odetta and more.

Hasan Bakr

Hasan Bakr

Hasan Bakr is a percussionist, singer and composer, who found his first musical expressions in the tonal arts of the drum and percussion. He has studied masters with discipline for most of his adult life with such notables as Chief Bey (shekere and bell), Babafeami (Conga), Nana Vasconcelos (berimbau and caxixi), Little Ray Romero (timbales), and Mbemba Bangoura.(Djembe). Hasan molded a unique vocal ability that landed a position as lead singer in the legendary Spirit Ensemble and Heritage OP, both New York based percussion ensembles.

Sanga of the Valley

Sanga of the Valley

Sanga of the Valley is a Trinidadian master percussionist who has been a part of Symphony Space’s Global Arts programs since 1989- taking part in the Africa and Latin America curriculums. Sanga specializes in djembe drumming and has taught in classrooms, workshop settings, assemblies and after-school programs in public schools all over New York City. Sanga has studied with some of the world’s greatest drummers from West Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the United States; including Babatunde Olatunji. He has performed throughout the world with artists such as Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, and Gabriella Roth.

Kevin Nathaniel Hylton

Kevin Nathaniel Hylton

Kevin Nathaniel Hylton is a musician and composer who is the founding member of Spirit Ensemble, Heritage OP, Forestdance, and Kaleidhaphonic. He has produced 9 recordings, and can be heard on the Narada collection “African Voices” and the Ellipsis Arts release “African Dreams”. As a teaching artist, Mr. Hylton has presented workshops and lectures/demos at several venerated institutions including Lincoln Center, Juilliard, University of Michigan, and Wesleyan University. He graduated cum laude with a B.F.A from Yale University.