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Global Arts: Cultural Literacy & Heritage

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MUSIC OF AFRICA AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

Regions: Africa
Formats: School Assembly, Cultural Field Trip, After School Program, Community Event, Workshop
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 drummer and djembe player, born in Trinidad and Tobago. He has worked and performed with a number of artists, including Nina Simone, Carlos Santana, and the Grateful Dead. He has been performing in New York City for over 40 years, and has worked with Mickey Hart on the album Planet Drum, which won the first Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 1991.