Attendees at the two-stage event will experience international drumming styles through outstanding performances from some of the world’s top musicians, mostly living within a 100 mile radius of Woodstock, NY. A full list of performers to date is below. (updated frequently!)
JACK DEJOHNETTE – jackdejohnette.com
NEXUS – nexuspercussion.com
with special guests BAIRD HERSEY AND PRANA – pranasound.com
|Baird Hersey is a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Fellow. His diverse musical career has encompassed Commissions from Harvard University, New York State Council for the Arts, New Mexico Council for the Arts, The Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Sound and Light Spectacular, The Public Theater, Meet the Composer, The Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and performances throughout the US and Europe in such different setting as the Berlin Jazz Festival and MTV. Hersey has recorded 14 albums as a leader or soloist, and recorded or performed with; Krishna Das, Wah!, Steve Smith (Journey), Doane Perry (Jethro Tull), Graham Parker, and Aine Minogue. In 2000, he formed the vocal group Prana. His composing for the group embraces traditional western vocal music heavily influenced by the music of India, Tibet, Tuva, Mongolia, Bulgaria and Georgia and with an emphasis on vocal harmonics.|
|Amy Fradon is a singer / songwriter, a passionate teacher and an ordained minister. She is the founder of the Vocal Visionary Training Program. She has recorded 10 albums under her own name and with her former partner Leslie Ritter and performed with Maria Muldaur, Happy and Artie Traum, Robbie DuPree, Livingston Taylor, Ed Sanders and the Fugs, Orleans, Peter Yarrow, Tiny Tim, and Rick Danko. and in the Broadway Touring Company of Pumpboys and Dinettes.|
|Kirsti Gholson is animal rights activist, environmental advocate, singer / songwriter, recording artist and performer. Before moving to Woodstock, Kirsti made music in Philadelphia with her bands “Art Can Kill” and “Sweet William”. She was chosen to perform on The Emerging Artists Stage for Woodstock ’99. Her song, “I got the Message” was aired on MTV’s Laguna Beach. Last year her song “Ways to Kiss the Ground” was nominated for the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards. She recently released an album titled, “The Summer I Stopped Whining” under the band name “Little Green Blackbird”.|
|Bruce Milner is in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of “Every Mother’s Son” who had a #1 radio hit in 1967 with “Come on Down To My Boat Baby” off of their LP record on MGM. As a keyboard player and singer, he works in many musical contexts.|
|Timothy Hill is singer / composer who has has released three recordings of original songs “This Bright World”, “The Human Place”, and “Spirit’s Body”. He is also a pioneer in the art of harmonic singing, having recorded 8 albums as an original member with David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir. Mr. Hill is a Grammy nominee for his work on Pete Seeger’s “The Storm King”. He co-leads Wayfarer, Sleeping Bee, and Weave Vocal Research Group, and has performed with John Cage, Bill Frisell, Jeff Buckley, Odetta, Pete Seeger, Pauline Oliveros, Madan Gopal Singh, Joe Maneri, Butch Morris and Carter Burwell, Hill has been a visiting lecturer at the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program.|
NYU STEEL DRUM ENSEMBLE – steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/percussion
POOK (the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston) and Energy Dance Company – cce-kingston.org
THE BIG TAKEOVER REGGAE BAND – bigtakeoverband.com
CREATIVE MUSIC STUDIO WITH KARL BERGER – creativemusic.org
|Karl Berger, vibraphonist, is a six time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, recipient of numerous Composition Awards (commissions by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, European Radio and Television: WDR, NDR, SWF, Radio France, Rai Italy. SWF-Prize 1994). Professor of Composition, Artist-in-Residence at universities, schools and festivals worldwide; PhD in Music Esthetics.He has recorded and performed with such notables as Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Sertso, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell and many others at festivals and concerts in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Brazil. His recordings and arrangements appear on the Atlantic, Axiom, Black Saint, Blue Note, Capitol, CBS, Columbia Double Moon, Douglas Music, Elektra , EMI, Enja, Island, JVC, Knitting Factory, In&Out, MCA, Milestone, Polygram, Pye, RCA, SONY, Stockholm, Vogue a.o.
Dr. Berger is founder and director of The Creative Music Studio, a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to the research of the power of music and sound and the elements common to all of the world’s music forms. He has conducted CMS Residencies worldwide. In the 90s, he was Professor of Composition and Dean of Music Education at the Hochschule feur Musik, Frankfurt, Germany, the chairman of the Music Department at UMass Dartmouth till 2006 and presently is re-establishing CMS programming, directing the CMS Archive Project, recording and producing. CMS is joining forces with Planet Arts, Inc. Performing internationally with the Allstar Ensemble “In the Spirit of Don Cherry” and with numerous projects, collaborating with vocalist / poet Ingrid Sertso. Contact: CreativeMusicAgency@gmail.com.
NORTH / SOUTH INDIAN MUSIC PROJECT
The ensemble weaves together the Ragas and Talas of Hindustani and Carnatic Music with a seamless flow of voice and flute, and the vibrancy of the world of Indian percussion.
|Ray Spiegel – Hindustani Tabla – Ray Spiegel is a disciple of the late Tabla Master Ustad Alla Rakha since 1975, specializing in the Punjab Gharana (style) of Tabla playing. He has also benefited from the intensive training and guidance he has received from Ustad Zakir Hussain from 1973 to 1980. Ray began his formal training at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA under Sri Shankar Ghosh in 1970. He studied with Sri B.S. Ramanna, (a disciple of Sheik Dawoodkhan of Hydrabad) in New Delhi in 1971 and 1972. He has performed with leading artists of Indian music, including Pandit Barun Kumar Pal, Ustad Shakir Khan, Pt. Ramesh Misra, Snehasish Mazumder. Steve Oda, and Samarth Nagarkar. His catalog of recordings on www.shimlahouse.com, include Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas, Mita Nag, and a classic recording of Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa.|
Balu Balasubrahmaniyan– Carnatic Vocals – A South Indian Karnatak performer, educator and researcher, he began his music lessons from his father Sri. D. Balraj and subsequently studied under several teachers including Sangita Kala Acharya. Sri. B. Krishanamurthy, Sangita Kalanidhi.T. Brinda and Sangita Kalanidhi, and T. Viswanathan. Since 1985 he has been giving concerts in India and abroad. He is a recipient of several awards, scholarships and the title, “Tamil Isaip Paanar” (Musician of Tamil Music) from Thanthai Periyar Tamil Isai Mandram , Chennai. Since 2003, Balu has been a faculty in South Indian Music at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT. He is currently working on a paper titled “Fashioning Ancient Tamil Hymns: Hybridization in the Current Practice of Tevaram.
Steve Gorn– Hindustani Bansuri Flute – Steve Gorn’s bansuri is featured on the 2011 Grammy winning recording, “Miho– Journey to the Mountain,” with Dhruba Ghosh and the Paul Winter Consort, as well as the Academy Award winning Documentary film, “Born into Brothels.” His gurus are the late bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami, of Kolkata, and Pt. Raghunath Seth of Mumbai, who he often accompanied in concert. He has often performed in India, appearing at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, Habitat Center and Triveni Hall in New Delhi, The Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, NCPA, and The Nehru Center in Mumbai, and numerous other venues. In 2013, he was awarded the Pandit Jasraj Rotary Club of Hyderabad Award for Cross Cultural Achievement. His numerous recordings include Luminous Ragas, Rasika, (with tabla by Samir Chatterjee), Illuminations, (with Nepali bansuri wallah, Manose,) and Between Two Worlds.
|David Nelson – Carnatic percussion – David Nelson, mrdangam, has been performing and teaching South Indian drumming since 1975. From his principal teacher, the renowned T. Ranganathan, he learned to accompany a wide range of styles, including Bharata Natyam, South India’s classical dance. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where he is Artist in Residence in South India n drumming. He has accompanied well-known artists throughout the United States, Europe, India, and China. He has also written extensively on South Indian drumming, including a major article in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. His first book, Solkattu Manual: an introduction to the language of rhythm in South Indian Music, was published in 2008 by Wesleyan University Press. In March 2013 he was awarded the title “Kala Seva Mani” by the prestigious Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival.|
THE BEATBOX HOUSE – beatboxhouse.com
NORTHEAST GHANA ALL STARS
|Organized exclusively for the 2017 Drum Boogie Festival, many of the premier Ghanaian drummers and dancers in the northeastern US present an exciting performance of dance-drumming pieces representing Ghana’s various musical traditions — Ewe, Asante, Dagomba, and Ga. The performance will feature Tufts professor Attah Poku playing the Asante royal court music of Kete, Koblavi Victor dancing the Ewe war music Atsiagbekor, Ga drummer Francis Akotuah leading Kpanlogo hand drumming, NYC-based Ahenema Cultural Troupe members Gloria Nyame and Yaw Kusi dancing the graceful movements of Adowa, Brandeis professor Ben Paulding adapting Ghanaian rhythms to the drumset, and much more!|
|Attah Poku is a prominent master drummer from the Ashanti Region of Ghana, West Africa. Born and raised inside the walls of the Ashanti King’s palace, Prof. Poku began training with his grandfather when he was only five years old, and officially joined the Ashanti King’s drum ensemble when he was ten. He currently is on leave from employment at the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi, where he is the master drummer for the resident Amamereso Agofomma Folkloric Troupe. Prof. Poku directs the Kiniwe ensemble at Tufts University, the West African drum and dance ensemble at Wesleyan University, and is the Artistic Director of the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society.|
|Francis Akotuah is a musician from Accra, Ghana and is now based in Ann Arbor, MI. As an instructor at the University of Ghana for almost two decades, he mentored many of Ghana’s up-and-coming performers and introduced countless students from around the world to Ghanaian traditions. He has performed with Ghana’s leading ensembles and conducted workshops at universities throughout the US, Canada, and the Netherlands.|
|Koblavi Dogah is a man of many names – Victor, Danger Blue, Zogo – just to name a few. Dogah is a percussionist and dancer born in the southern part of Ghana. He started learning Ewe music when he was 5 years old, and by the age of 12, was teaching at the Dagbe Cultural Centre, run by the late Mr. Godwin Agbeli. Koblavi attended Berklee College of Music with the first full-ride scholarship through the African Scholars Program, and received his Bachelor of Music with an Education focus. He has performed and taught workshops at universities such as Berklee, Tufts, and St. Michaels, as well as countless elementary schools, middle schools, festivals, and camps.|
|Gloria Nyame is originally from Ghana, and currently lives in the Bronx where she dances for the Ahenema Cultural Group, New York City’s premiere Ghanaian drum and dance ensemble. She started dancing in the Ashanti Region of Ghana when she was six years old, and danced professionally throughout Ghana and Nigeria with the Centre for National Culture, the Adinkra Cultural Troupe, and the Catholic Youth Organization at St. Peter’s Cathedral. Gloria is well known for her graceful movements in the Ashanti dances of Kete and Adowa.|
|Richard Dwomoh is a highly acclaimed dancer from the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Touring Germany, Italy, Nigeria, and Ghana, Richard has danced with the Centre for National Culture, the Adinkra Cultural Troupe, and Bishop Sarpong’s Cultural Troupe at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Kumasi. When living in Ghana, Richard earned the reputation throughout the Ashanti Region as one of the premier Kete and Fontomfrom dancers of his generation. Richard currently lives in New York City where he drums and dances with the Ahenema Cultural Group.|
|Nii Boye is known as one of the top Ghanaian drummers of his generation, and is credited with many popular innovations in the Kete drumming style. Nii Boye was lead drummer of the Nsuase Kete Group, one of the most well-known Kete groups in Asante. When living in Ghana, Nii Boye also played with the Centre for National Culture, as well as Bishop Sarpong’s Cultural Troupe. Nii Boye currently lives in New Jersey, and regularly performs with the Ahenema Cultural Group.|
|Michael Ofori is a multifaceted performing artist from Ghana. He has been drumming since childhood, learning from many master drummers from the Center for National Culture in Kumasi. Michael’s creative interests lie in African performing arts traditions. He has performed with Amammer?so Agofomma (Cultural Center’s Folkloric group), Azaguno Inc. (Athens, Ohio) Manhyia Tete Nnwomkr? (The Ashanti King’s Singing and Drumming Ensemble), The Ghana Dance Ensemble at University of Ghana, The National Dance Company at the National Theater of Ghana and NOYAM Dance Institute. Michael holds a BFA in Theater and Dance from University of Ghana, an MA in African Studies from Ohio University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Theater Education at Boston University. He is excited to be sharing his music with all.|
|Ben Paulding is an American percussionist who extensively lived in Kumasi, Ghana, drumming on national television and performing for Ghanaian presidents, traditional chiefs and queen mothers. In West Africa, Ben had over 200 performances with the Centre for National Culture and the Nsuase Kete Group. Ben currently lives in Boston where he directs the Fafali music and dance ensemble at Brandeis University, serves as Drum Leader for the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society, and instructs the Hyde Park Youth Percussion Ensemble. Publishing credits include the chapter “ Kete for the International Percussion Community” , in Discourses in African Musicology: J.H. Kwabena Nketia Festschrift (ed. Kwasi Ampene, 2015), as well as multiple articles on African drumming for Rhythm! Scene, digital magazine of the Percussive Arts Society.
|Ryan Loud graduated with honors from UMass Dartmouth. He holds a bachelors degree in percussion performance with a focus in jazz and world music studies. After graduating, Ryan went on to teach as a percussion specialist at King Philip High School in Wrentham, a position he has now held for thirteen years. Upon arriving at King Philip, Ryan started a program called “World Percussion” . Unique to its kind in the New England area, students perform in a West African music ensemble, a Steel Pan ensemble, as well as study Afro-Cuban styles. Ryan was also a temporary professor at UMass from 2013-2015, teaching West African music. Ryan continues to perform professionally throughout New England on drum set, vibraphone and world drums.|