African and Caribbean music workshop information
Led by Guinean master drummer Mohamed Camara and lead singer Alice Johnson, the program begins with an atmospheric and powerful Yoruba song of welcome. As the sounds of drums fade away, Mohamed explains the important role music plays in an African village, where drums, dance and song accompany most aspects of daily life for all village members, beginning with early childhood. Band members demonstrate a variety of indigenous percussion instruments, from the chime-like Kalimba to the thunderous Djembe drum. The group then illustrates how each instrument, contributing a simple rhythmic pattern, helps to create a fascinating and intricate musical web. The children experience being part of this web by clapping, chanting, singing and tapping different rhythms. Other African instruments such as the talking drum (Senegal), shakeré and agogo bells (Ghana), conga drum (The Congo) and the djundjun (Guinea) are also demonstrated.
In the mid 19th century, the forced migration of African slaves brought African music & instruments westward to the Americas and Caribbean islands. During these times, slaves were forbidden to make and play drums and other musical instruments from their homeland. Discover how the Africans ingenuously used simple farm tools to keep their music and culture alive.
Venezualan-born percussionist Luis Blanco introduces the music of the Caribbean islands, including Calypso, Reggae & Soca. Wildest Dreams performs these infectious styles and shows how they were influenced by the music of Africa. The group also performs pop songs that feature characteristics of African and Caribbean music and will play one song arranged in different styles to help the students learn to recognize each genre.
Presently, the world is experiencing an accelerating cross-pollination of cultures. Musically, this is being reflected by the rise of new, hybrid styles as musicians everywhere experiment with cross-cultural combinations of instruments and music. We perform two of these exciting new musical styles, a Zairean Afro-pop called Soukous and Soul-Calypso from Trinidad.
This program opens a window to understanding and appreciation of other cultures through the vehicle of music. The opportunity to connect with the musicians and experience the music of these distant lands gives the children insight into what life is like in other regions of the world while promoting respect, friendship and harmony.
Contact Andy Holiner to schedule Wildest Dreams.
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