Last night the ROOTS class gave their end of session “informance”. They have been working hard and presented the piece Kpatsa as instrumental and then as a dance. They also performed Gahu….but in this case they combined the drumming, singing and dancing at the same time! Challenging parts and great leadership from within the group. This group of kids is amazing! We were fortunate that Ghanaian drummer Dominic Donkor was in town and sat in on some support for us. He and Kathy Armstrong also played a piece from their school repertoire for us. Dominic will be back to teach at our Rhythm Trek Summer Camp August 10-14. Here are a few photos form the evening from Ben Holland.
Baobab Youth finished 2014 with a couple of gigs and parties. Last week we gave a performance for the after 4 program at Hintonburg Community Centre. Our new piece Kpatsa was definitely a highlight, as it usually is. The kids loved the show, and came up to check out the drums later. Afterwards we gathered for our own holiday party where we had some amazing sugary treats and other tasty snacks. Our annual secret gift exchange was fun and meaningful. Some pretty cool and thoughtful gifts!
And, finally, last Saturday night the group performed at the Midezor Association‘s annual Christmas party (Cultural Explosion!). This great group of Ewe speakers in the National Capital region, does some great community and advocacy work, and they also know how to party it up! The food was awesome and the dancing memorable. A special presentation was made to outgoing Ghana High Commissioner, His Excellency Kwasi Korentang, who has been a wonderful supporter of Baobab during his time in office. We are sad to see him go back to Ghana on another assignment, but he has promised to host us there and we will definitely follow that up on our next trip! Midezor also surprised us by saying they would like to “adopt” Baobab as one of their community partners….as our 20th Anniversary is just around the corner we are excited about some collaboration.
Midezor President Alberta Lawson
Outgoing Ghana HC
Happy Holidays to all from Baobab Community!
Yesterday Baobab Youth had a busy gigging day….we started with a full performance at the Ottawa Storytellers Children’s Day for about 100 kids and parents.
We then moved on to Carleton University where we met up with my group there….the West African Rhythm Ensemble. We have each been practicing a full version of Gahu and so we put it together with about 30 of us. We walked over to the beautiful River Building where the Power of the Arts National Forum was taking place. I spoke for a few minutes on the drumming program I teach at Carleton in the Music dept, Baobab Community and the amazing health benefits that come with drumming and then we demonstrated with a full Gahu. SO wonderful! We received a standing ovation! I love bringing the two groups together. Fantastic energy. Still hoping for some photos of the event but here is one at the rehearsal.