Had a great time performing with my student African Drumming ensembles last week at ZUMIX, the community music school in inner city East Boston where I started the African Drumming program in 2007. ZUMIX has grown a lot since then, recently winning the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House.
Check out these three videos, the first featuring the ZUMIX beginning African Drumming Ensemble performing an adapted version of Gahu, a recreational style of music from the Ewe people of Ghana, West Africa:
And here’s the ZUMIX intermediate African Drumming Ensemble performing Atsiagbekor (a k a Agbekor), an Ewe war piece: READ MORE →
info on the 2011 International Very Special Arts (VSA) Education Conference titled, The Contours of Inclusive Arts Teaching & Learning;
a concert review of the Wayne Shorter Quartet at the Berklee Performance Center.
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Check out my Fall African Drumming class at Westfield State University performing the Ewe war piece Atsiagbekor (commonly referred to as Agbekor) at our recital this past Friday. The video quality leaves something to be desired — and I should have tuned my atsimevu drum higher before starting — but nonetheless I think everyone’s hard work and great energy shines through. So proud of my students!
This will be the first of several posts exploring the interplay between music, language and sound, particularly as it relates to African drumming. We’ll start by addressing the notion of “drum language.” In my view, drum language can be placed into two basic categories: 1) drum imitates sound of voice; 2) voice imitates sound of drum.
The first approach — drum imitating voice — can be found in the music of the Dagomba people of Northern Ghana. Through a variety of techniques — most notably READ MORE →