Wednesday, May 03, 2006

African Xylophone Festival in NYC

On Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7, some good friends of RootsWorld will host to the second annual African Xylophone Festival in NYC. “AXF2” will expand on the variety of xylophones presented last year, with the spider-webbed gyil of Ghana, the balafon of the historic empire of Mali, and the resonant embaire of Uganda, joined by the timbila of Mozambique, as well as the log-drum krin from the forests of Guinea, the spirited namaddu (tuned drums) of Uganda, and the metallic budongo of East Africa. The African Xylophone Festival is sponsored by Jumbie Records with the 92nd Street Y, the Columbia University Arts Initiative and the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. The festival includes two nights of concerts and three days of workshops

* Bernard Woma Trio—traditional and modern compositions for gyil by the solo xylophonist of Ghana’s National Dance Company
* Famoro Dioubate’s “Kakande”—classical balafon repertoire of the Mande peoples of West Africa given a New York flavor with flute, bass, cello and congas
* Dallam-Dougou—innovative music finding common ground between Hungarian folk music and the xylophone aesthetic of Guinea
* Imaginary Homeland—a jazz quartet of African xylophone, strings, and saxophone, presenting modern music for the Ghanaian gyil
* Biakuye Unity Ensemble—traditional music of southern Uganda featuring the embaire xylophone, budongo kalimba, and namaddu tuned drums.
* Nora Balaban's "Timbila Project" – the timbila xylophone of Mozambique’s Chopi people meets electric guitar and Afropop
* Valerie Naranjo—solo transcriptions of the gyil xylophone performed on Euro-American marimba, with piano and percussion
* A NeNe Wofa — The youth of Duffield Street come together in a celebration of Mande culture
* St. Ann's African Xylophone Ensemble of Brooklyn—New York’s youngest African xylophone ensemble, of 2nd and 3rd graders
* Workshops for children and adults at Columbia University, covering three different African xylophone traditions
* Advanced masterclasses for professional xylophonists with master musicians of Ghana and Guinea
* Jumbie Xylophone Summit—a rare meeting of xylophone masters from different African traditions on one performance stage
* Jumbie Orchestra: AXF Grand Finale—A festival orchestra of Jumbie Records artists perform Bernard Woma’s composition "Gyil Mambo.”

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