CELEBRATING THE ORISHA: Special Class with Baba Richard González and Quenia Ribeiro

CELEBRATING THE ORISHA: Special Class with Baba Richard González and Quenia Ribeiro

2018 RETREAT - SATURDAY AT 1:45 PM in REC 3

In this special workshop Baba Richard and Queñia along with Tiga, Atibon and the drummers lead participants with songs and dances associated with these specific cultural rhythms, absorbing the strengths and phenomena of these forces such as OBATALÁ / ORIXALÁ / DAMBALLAH - DIVINE FORCES OF AUTHORITY, PEACE AND ASHÉ.

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Arturo Stable to teach Afro-Cuban percussion at Wula Retreat

Arturo Stable to teach Afro-Cuban percussion at Wula Retreat

We are thrilled to have Cuban percussionist Arturo Stable join the Wula Retreat Faculty in 2018. An expert on Cuban percussion and drumset, he also represents a true modern percussionist, fusing many styles together to create his own sound. 

Here are some excerpts from a Modern Drummer Magazine interview:

"MD: How is percussion taught in Cuba?

Arturo: Until the late ’70s, everything that was taught in school was classical music, while popular and folkloric music was taught on the streets.

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Abou Sylla Teaches Balafon at the Wula Retreat

Abou Sylla Teaches Balafon at the Wula Retreat

“Sylla’s mastery of the instrument comes from a life spent absorbing and playing music. Now 60, he grew up among musicians in Guinea. As a kid, he would lie between two balafons as his father and others played, soaking up their sounds. Sometimes his dad had him on his lap during the sessions.”

“For Sylla, it’s not just about the music, but also about connection. “You don’t have to be black or you don’t have to be yellow or you don’t have to be white or you don’t have to be healthy or you don’t have to be sick,” he said. Each person brings “their own sense” to his music."

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Babara Bangoura joins the 2018 Wula Retreat Faculty

Babara Bangoura joins the 2018 Wula Retreat Faculty

We are happy to welcome Babara Bangoura to this year's Retreat Faculty! 

Babara Bangoura, a Guinean djembefola, is the spiritual son of the Guinean djembe-master Mamady KEITA. Babara is a member of Keita’s mythical group SEWA KAN. In Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, Babara joined the Guinean Junior Percussionists at a very early age and later on joined the National Ballet 'Djoliba'.

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New York Public Library Interview with new faculty: Marie Basse Wiles

 New York Public Library Interview with new faculty: Marie Basse Wiles

We are thrilled to bring Senegal into the West African mix at the Retreat. We are lucky to have a highly respected teacher of this style with us, Marie Basse Wiles. Watch this interview for the New York Public Library Digital Collections to really get an understanding of where Marie is coming from, and how lucky we are to get a chance to study with her.

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Retreat Faculty Valerie Dee Naranjo discusses women in percussion and more

Retreat Faculty Valerie Dee Naranjo discusses women in percussion and more

For many years, retreaters have enjoyed learning the Ghanaian Gyil from one of the foremost Gyil experts in the Western world. We've all seen her jaw-dropping performances at the Saturday Night Concert each year at the Retreat, and we all know her insane resume: playing weekly on Saturday Night Live, Broadway shows, film scores, teaching at New York University, and so much more. 

During all this commercial work, she finds time to write, record, and perform the music she is passionate about as well. As one of the top percussionists around, Valerie is a great role model for women and girls in music. In this interview - from her website mandaramusic.com - Valerie discusses her teachers in West Africa, and being a women in the drumming business.

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New Faculty! World Class percussionist Shane Shanahan to teach frame drumming and more...

New Faculty! World Class percussionist Shane Shanahan to teach frame drumming and more...

World class percussionist Shane Shanahan is a member of the renowned, Grammy-Nominated Silk Road Ensemble. Led by Yo-Yo Ma (one of the world's greatest cellists), the ensemble tours around the world, bringing people of different cultures and languages together through the power of music. This is exactly the purpose of the Wula Drum and Dance Retreat, and we are happy to have Shane teaching with us!

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