Global Arts: Cultural Literacy & Heritage
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THE SOURCES OF AFRICAN MUSIC
Voices and a multitude of traditional African instruments, such as the mbira, djimbe and shekere, bring African music to life in this offering. Professional musicians share their instruments and include students in the communal nature of music in Africa, introducing them to some of the key elements: polyrhythm, call and response, and improvisation.
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.
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.
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.
Marsha Perry Starkes
Marsha Perry Starkes is a multifaceted musician who combines traditional African instruments and musical forms with contemporary influences. Her recordings include Bird Lives! Through the Neo Bass Ensemble, Hit It! and Bebop meets Bass. She sings and plays the music of Africa, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. Marsha holds a B.S. in Theatre Arts from Marygrove College in Detroit, MI.
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.