Drum Beats of The Caribbean at Medgar Evers College

Hamptonians New York (HNY) will pay tribute to African hand-drumming traditions throughout the Caribbean at its 2010 performing arts presentation, Bangarang: Drum Beats of The Caribbean, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2:00 p.m. at Medgar Evers College Founder’s Hall Auditorium, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

“The entire program will show the underlay of Caribbean life, drawing upon practices that symbolize beliefs, courage and resilience,” Maxine Alexander, HNY founder and president, said.

Bangarang, an arts-based educational affair, “will reflect spiritual, social, ethnomusicology and artistic perspectives,” highlighting the custom of Kumina (Dr. L’Antoinette Stines-Jamaica); Vodun/Voodoo (Rodolphe Pierre-Haiti); Santaria (Dr. Martha Moreno Vega-Cuba); Shango (Micheal Manswell-Trinidad & Tobago); Saracca (Dr. Merle Collins-Grenada) and Kumfah (Menes de Griot-Guyana), Alexander added.

Renowned percussionist, Neil Clarke, will moderate a panel of professionals adept in Caribbean history, folk traditions, rituals, arts and culture.

Much of the attention will be focused on the lecture starting at 2:00 p.m., and speakers will break down, define and demonstrate the paradigm of hand drumming: Why, how, when drum. The panel will include Dr. Martha Moreno Vega, Caribbean Cultural Center; Dr. Merle Collin, University of Maryland; Dr. Calvin Holder, College of Staten Island and Dr. L’Antoinette Stines, University of the West Indies.

Bangarang is designed to be an engaging source of information as well as an ethnomusicology adventure. Alexander said, adding that a remarkable group of local drummers, including Junior Wedderburn, Sango of the Valley, Bassanio, Irvng ‘Carrot’ Jarrett and Keith Johnston, will provide extraordinary drumming.

Directly after the concert at 7:00 p.m., an organic outgrowth into a Drum Circle, will offer a heavy dose of tradition with hints of urban flavoring.

“By the time the noon to night affair whittles down,” Alexander said, “it will be dubbed a freaking pretty awesome event.”

Bangarang: Drum Beats of the Caribbean is presented with the support of Sen. John. Sampson, New York Council for the Humanities, Assemb. Nick Perry, Medgar Evers College, YMCA of Greater New York, Brooklyn Arts Council, MFTA/DCA and Grace Kennedy Foods USA, additional support is provided by Irving Burgie and the Alexander family and friends.

One of the goals of HNY is to engage both young and family audiences within NYC’s Caribbean-American neighborhoods in the preservation of Caribbean arts and culture. The organization focuses on repository work in Caribbean folk tradition. MEC was scouted as the premiere venue for the next five years. The institution provides the scale of performance space for live entertainment, is familiar grounds to the community and is conveniently located to public transportation with wheelchair access.

For more information, call: (718) 927-6817 or email: [email protected]

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