Coming from a musically infused childhood, the ever-versatile Arturo Rodriguez shares his passion for percussion with the Pacific Northwest and beyond. An accomplished musician, author, and teacher, Rodriguez has performed worldwide, sharing the stage with music legends that include Tito Puente, Dave Valentin, Paul Horn, and Pete Escovedo. Rodriguez says, "It is an honor and a privilege to have worked with these great musicians and icons of Latin music." Never one to stand still, LP endorsed percussionist is both a popular face and a powerful force on the local Seattle music scene. One night you might catch him tearing up a Latin Jazz set with his trio at Sip restaurant and the next performing more intimate Brazilian or World jazz with his duo at the Fish Club. While moving through the musical boundaries of jazz, Brazilian and Cuban music, Rodriguez has an amazing talent for bringing and keeping people together. "I see music as an opportunity for people to learn to work together. Playing music within a group is a lesson in social awareness and collective consciousness. Ultimately the goal is to give of one's self - to be as with the music and the musicians."
Alseny Yansane, dynamic teacher and fourteen year performing artist of the world renowned Ballets Africains, has been immersed in the musical and dance tradition of his native country, Guinea, West Africa since age seven. He has trained and performed in many competitions during Guinea's "Golden Age" when art and cultural appreciation were at an all-time high and artists' training was rigorous and systematic. This has given him a wealth of knowledge about the history and cultural diversity behind Guinean performance arts, a solid artistic foundation, and a strong drive for excellence. Alseny is a beautiful dancer who skillfully executes dance movements with power and grace. He is friendly, patient and encouraging, excellent at nurturing beginning dancers by breaking down the steps while simultaneously challenging more advanced students to push their edge and become stronger dancers. Alseny organizes annual cultural and artistic intensive workshops to Guinea, West Africa, teaches classes and workshops throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, offers quality school programs and performs for audiences of all ages.
Awal Alhassan was born and raised by a traditional drumming and dancing family in Tamale, Ghana. He has worked throughout Africa both independently and with groups such as the Ghana Dance Ensemble, the National Theatre of Ghana, and the Center for National Culture Dance Troupe. Currently in Seattle, he teaches regularly, leads, and performs high-energy dance and drumming with his group, Sohoyini Dance.
Ahmad Yousefbeigi is an inspired and sought-after Kurdish Iranian percussionist. Born in Sanandaj, Iran, his passion for rhythm was fostered by the musical nature of Kurdish community life and his brother's guidance. At the age of twelve he began formal study of Tonbak and Daf. Since moving to Seattle in 1998, Ahmad has captivated audiences in the Pacific Northwest with the energetic, nomadic folk songs of his native Kurdistan and the delicate, lyrical rhythms of Persian classical music and poetry. www.kamand.org
An Iranian Kurd and life-long musician, Ahmad first embarked on his musical path in his home town of Sanandaj, Iran. Ahmad, a sought after musician in the Seattle area has been invited to play tonbak and daf at numerous cultural events. He has performed on local Public Radio KUOW (2003) & (2006), KBCS, at UW Meany Hall and Town Hall Seattle, Seattle Benaroya Hall.
santa fe, NM
Adama started dancing at the age of 6 with her brother who is also a professional dancer and has a dance group in Senegal. While she was touring throughout Senegal with the dance company, she competed in many dance competitions, eventually taking the trophy for best dancer at a competition at the Sorano theatre in Dakar, besting dancers from all parts of Senegal. In 1986 she was selected to join a dance troop to represent her home town of Ziguinchor in the Casamance area of Senegal. In 1988 she joined the Woulaba dance company and in 1990 she was named best dancer of the year and held that title for three years. In 1995 she joined the dance company, Fambonding, and has remained with the company to the present. Fambonding functions as a dance school as well as a performance group, and she has instructed many Europeans and Americans in African dance. She is familiar with many African dances, among them, lenjen, bougarabou, akonkon, doundounba, mendiani, kotoba, soko, sabar, jambadon, ching, and many more.
Abdoulaye Sylla, master dancer and drummer from Guinea, W. Africa, delights everyone with his energetic style and infectious smile. He was recruited by his government to dance while still a child. He grew up winning numerous dance competitions in and on behalf of his country. Abdoulaye was a dancer and percussionist with Les Ballets Africains, Guinea’s internationally acclaimed national dance troupe and a dancer, percussionist, and director of technique for Les Merveilles D’Afrique. He has performed and taught traditional dance and percussion throughout Africa, Europe, and the United States. He was named an “Ambassador of Culture” by UCSF. In 1994 Abdoulaye relocated to Connecticut where he was an adjunct professor at Trinity College and a Master Teaching/Performing Artist wit the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism. He has taught and performed at hundreds of schools, festivals, and community venues.
Fort Wayne, IN
260 403 8583
Abass Camara is a master drummer from Guinea, West Africa. He has been a professional musician since the age of 15 and has played with a number of prominent ballets (drum and dance troops) in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Along with his performance skills he was the Music Director and Music Instructor for Watafre, the Ballet he and three other artists started in Conakry seven years ago. This means that he was in charge of arranging all of the music as well as teaching not only the members of the Ballet but also the apprentice drummers. Since coming to the United States, Abass has performed all over Midwest and taught students from PhD candidates at universities to pre-K students. Abass loves to perform but he has a passion for teaching his culture and his music.
Portland , OR
The djembe called to Ali in June 2000, when a "random" flier flew at her from a bulletin board outside Eichardt's restaurant in Sandpoint, ID. Falling head over heels in love with the djembe, she has since then dedicated her life to studying and teaching. Taking advice from her first teacher, Ali purposefully studied with as many different djembe teachers as possible, learning rhythms from many different west African countries. In 2005 she was invited to move to California to teach for the San Diego branch of Tam Tam Mandingue, Mamady Keita's international school of djembe. She also teaches at various San Diego Unified School Districts, working with grades K through 6. She has been to Guinea several times to study the djembe, most recently making the journey with Mamady Keita and other professional teachers to his home village of Balandougou. Ali calls San Diego home, but travels and teaches workshops throughout the U.S.
AFUA's diversity in training with teachers from Ghana,Nigeria,Zimbabwe, Senegal,Liberia,NYC,Seattle,Congo,Trinidad-Tobago,California,and Guinea allows her choreographed African movements to spring from her magical ability to stimulate, excite and flow with the rhythms of the drums. For the past 40+years, Afua has been an integral part of keeping cultural arts and entertainment vibrant, By co-founding Adefua African Music & Dance Company,performing cultural entertainment, and in 1994 becoming Exec.Director of Adefua Cultural Education Workshop, a non-profit organization. In 2000 she became a Washington State Certified therapeutic counselor and in 2002 she received her Certificate of Achievement in Teacher Education. These educational achievements allow her to offer an educational vessel for students to experience Africa through music, song and dance. Afua's main strength comes from her loving family. Her daughters and son are established and respected performers nationally in the African arts community. She has taught at numerous schools over the years and each learning series ends with a public performance allowing the students a chance to experience celebration.
Alseny “Michel” Diallo is a master djembe player and talented performing artist from Guinea West Africa. He has been working in the Guinean Music scene for over 15 years, performing in different ballets, participating in festivals and competitions as well as showcasing in Guinea's largest theatres, “Le Centre Nimbia” and “Le Centre Culturel.” Alseny Diallo has been the lead soloist djembe player for various ballets since the age of 12. Alseny's musical talents has also led him to perform at many significant cultural events with such ballets as “Le Ballet Taille”, “Les Ballet Africain Juniors”, “Le Ballet Kokuri”, “Le Tempo” and “L’Oiseau Blanc”. Alseny has been in Canada since 2007 establishing his own group Kikeyambay, a West African drum and dance troupe as well as a 12 person Electric Orchestra fusing the traditional rhythms with the contemporary new age sounds coming out of Guinea. They perform around BC at theaters, schools, festivals and private events. Besides his own projects, he has also been seen performing with other groups such as Alpha YaYa Diallo, N'Nato Camara and Naby Camara around Canada.
Born in Seattle, Ravi Albright is a 12 year student of tabla in both India and the U.S. In 2006 he became a ganda-banda disciple of Pandit Anindo Chatterjee of Kolkata. He began studying in 1999 with the talented student of Pt. Chatterjee, Debopriyo Sarkar, and for the first time with Panditji himself in 2003. Ravi has studied accompaniment from various artists such as Pandit Debiprasad Chatterjee, student of Pt. Nikhil Banerjee and Ustad Ali Akhbar Khan, Bansuri player Deepak Ram, a senior disciple of Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and sarod player Steven Oda, a senior disciple of Maestro Ali Akhbar Khansab. Ravi has also accompanied vocalists such as Mukesh Desi and Sujata Gaynakar as well as performed in various classical dance and folk festivals. Ravi is the director of the Pt. Anindo Chatterjee Tabla School of Seattle, offering ongoing classes and workshops throughout the year in the Seattle area. Ravi loves to teach tabla at all levels and enjoys the challenge of assisting students in development of technique and style.
832 607 3200
The youngest son of a renowned Master Drummer, Aikulola first learned the art of Drumming as a young boy following his father to festivals and gatherings. By the time he reached adulthood his skill level was well known throughout the region and he was named by the Araba of Ode Remo, the Alogbolesi (meaning the Chief among all Master Drummers), the ONLY person to hold such a title. As such, he is responsible for the training and performance for up and coming drummers throughout the region. Since 2005, his passion for Drumming has taken him to various countries in South America where he has taught the art of Drumming and Chanting to communities in Brazil and Venezuela. It is his belief that the ancient art of Drumming can be applied successfully to the problems of modern life for the good and enhancement of all humankind.
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