12 April 2007

World Rhythm Festival, Seattle

Tomorrow begins one of the highlights of my world-music year, the World Rhythm Festival in Seattle.

Sponsored by the Seattle World Percussion Society and put on by a raft of volunteers, the three-day festival includes dozens of free percussion and dance workshops and performances on the spacious grounds of the Seattle Center. The traditions represented? Everything under the sun: East Indian tabla, Haitian Voudou, dumbek, didgeridoo, conga, djembe, bellydance, Afro-Brazilian dance, even drum circle facilitation. View the complete schedule (PDF).

Among the astounding list of performers and workshop leaders are some of our favorites: Alessandra Belloni, Etienne Cakpo, Modibo Traore, Naby Camara, Pepe Danza, Raquy Danziger, Arthur "drum circle" Hull, and Thione Diop. Find artist bios and web links here. And I'll see you there.

Tony Allen - Lagos No Shaking CDThinking of great percussion this morning has turned my mind to Tony Allen. You probably know that he was the drummer and musical director for Fela Kuti's Africa 70. He's since embarked on a successful solo career, often collaborating with younger hip-hop artists and the like. This cut is from his latest album, and features his trademark polyrhythmic drumming.

[mp3] Tony Allen: One Tree
from the album Lagos No Shaking
You can sample more of Tony Allen's music at tonyallen.calabashmusic.com

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