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Saeed Abbas in from the Hausa tribe in Accra, Ghana.  A child prodigy, he auditioned into Ghana's premier Dance Ensemble at 19 becoming their master drummer and toured many parts of the world with them.  In 2004 was invited to the US to teach children with disabilities in the Portland, OR.  In 2008 he moved to the East Coast performing and teaching at various schools and colleges including Berklee College of Music, Dartmouth, etc.  Now back on Whidbey Island, WA, Abbas teaches and performs.  He was selected for the 2018 Teaching Artist List of WSAC.  Abbas loves to share his music!

PERFORMANCE: Saeed Abbas and the Gye Nyame Ensemble will perform on the Mural Amphitheater Stage. 

WORKSHOP: Ghanaian Hand Drum. Ghana traditional rhythms and others. Will teach to all levels in workshop.


Sarah Lee Parker is a hot-blooded American who has found her soul in Guinea West Africa. Since her first visit to Senegal and Guinea in 2004, and during her subsequent 14 multi-month return visits, her whole life has become about building a two-way bridge of learning and understanding between Guinea and the west. Passionately seeking to level the playing field for people of color, she facilitates awareness and transformation through dance, music and cultural immersion. During these 15 trips to Africa, Sarah Lee has hosted hundreds of Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Chinese and Japanese participants of all ages as they discover the power and strength of Guinean Culture, and has studied with dozens of exceptional dancers, most notably Youssouf Koumbassa, Moustapha Bangoura, Sorel Conte, Alseny Bangoura, Mamadama Bangoura, Salia Camara and Aly Mara. She has trained with Wassa So, Ballet Matam and Ballet Djoliba. Sarah Lee is an accomplished dancer, an excellent teacher, and most notably a bold unabashed stand for creating a world that works for everyone. While in Seattle, Sarah Lee performs with One World Dance & Drum & Kouyate Arts, and teaches at the University of Washington Dance Department, Velocity and Balance Dance Studios.

Sarah is offering a workshop on Dances from Guinea West Africa.  

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Simone LaDrumma (yes, it’s her “real” name; no, she wasn’t born with it) began drumming professionally in 1987 as a member of Anzanga Marimba Ensemble. In January 1991 she created, "Drumming & The Holistic Expression of Rhythm" a method of learning to express rhythm organically. In 1993 she formed and led for 9 years the first all-female percussion ensemble in the Northwest, Ladies Don't Drum. "Ladies" performed internationally and with many renowned artists, such as Bobby McFerrin, the Seattle Men's Chorus, and Maya Angelou. Their album, “Nailin’ It,” was (and still is) very popular. Over the last 28 years, Simone has brought the Spirit of the Drum to thousands of  people of every background, age, physical condition and level throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. She is also a solo entertainer, blending humor and drumming as “The Stand-Up Drummer.”  Simone also works as a studio percussionist, appearing on many albums. In addition to drumming, Simone also teaches piano and improvisational dancing and singing. At the age of 77, Simone continues to teach, compose and perform wherever the Spirit of the Drum leads her.(P.S. She is one of only TWO people to have taught and/or performed in every World Rhythm Festival since its inception in 1993, and for years was Festival emcee.) 


How To Do a Hot Solo:  You're in a drum circle and everyone is keeping a simple, steady rhythm, e.g. the basic beat. You've got the urge to solo, but you don't know how. Sure, you can just "bang away" at your drum, but you would like to craft something that sounds good and allows you to express yourself.  Good news! The principles of solo improvisation can be taught. Bring your hand drum and your basic skills to this workshop & Simone will give you her Ten Tips to a Hot Solo. Everyone in the class will get the chance to solo.  Basic drumming experience required. 


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Súle Greg Wilson, MA, has been sharing positivity with people for going on fifty years.   Percussionist, educator, banjoist, and storyteller, Súle has performed on three continents, taught primary school to university, appeared at the Newport Folk Festival, on A Prairie Home Companion, stage and screen.  His book, The Drummer’s Path: Moving the Spirit with Ritual and Traditional Drumming, is a college text, and the Sule System of Drumpath Rhythms: A Method for Teaching and Learning Percussion (DVD/book) is immanently online.

Born and raised in multi-cultural Washington, DC., Wilson began with The Oya African Dancers and Drummers, then with Babatunde Olatunji, Chief Bey, the International African American Ballet, the Copasetics, members of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Mamadi Keita, Cheikh Hamala Diabate, Tony Trishka, Native rocker Keith Secola, folk legends Mike Seeger and John Sebastian, and more.  He studied Asian percussion at Oberlin College, and jammed at NAMM with Giovanni, Luis Conté, and Sheila E.  His music graces film soundtracks, and is a founding member of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.

PERFORMANCE:  Sule is opening for our Saturday Evening Dance Party


TRAD FUNK: Post-African U.S. Body Percussion
After the Stono War, the Carolina Colony enacted the Negro Act of 1740, outlawing Blacks the use or possession of drums. Maryland, and other colonies, soon followed suit. In response to this repression, Afro- USans* developed body percussion to a high art. In this interactive workshop, we will “put on” traditional body-done rhythms of ritual, survival, and celebration, and practice the fundamentals of “American [USan] clave”. We’ll have to sing ‘em, too.


Front, Back, and  Sides
This session is about learning to be aware of, and eventually master, Time, and Tone.  With Time and Tone each rock solid inside you, you can never be thrown off the Pulse, no matter what’s going on outside you.

You see, in American music, we’re taught to play it straight.   I remember, George Clinton once said, “Nothing is good unless you play with it.”  So, in this workshop, we’re gonna play—with rhythm, time, and tone! 

First, we’ll practice a well-known (but virtually unrecognized) rhythm, our very own “USan clave”.  We’ll first do it with voice—to learn it, then with body—to incorporate it, then with drums—to amplify it.  We’ll play with the USan clave rhythm as a crowd, then in groups, then in trios.  We’ll perform it every which-a-way: on the upbeat, on the downbeat, and in between.  If there’s time after that, we’ll play and experiment with starting the rhythm on each of the hand drum’s tonal triad: bass, tone, slap.

We’ll have a funky good time!

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VamoLá! is a Brazilian drum and dance ensemble that brings the spirit of Carnaval to life through vibrant parades and performances. Our main focus is on Rio-style samba, but we perform a variety of other music and dance styles from all over Brazil. Our name means, “Let’s go!” in Portuguese, and we do just that — we get people going!


VamoLa is performing in the Armory Main Stage. 

VamoLá is back with another performance. They combine live Brazilian music with energetic dancers in stunning Brazilian costumes. They’ll be performing many types of Brazilian music and dance from around Brazil. They'll even be teaching how to dance Samba Reggae (pronounced Samba Heg-gay in Brazil) so come on up and dance along!


This is your opportunity to play Brazilian music with members of the VamoLa! percussion ensemble. We’ll start out with basic rhythm exercises, and move on to play some classic rhythms such as ijexa and samba reggae. Bring your djembe, two-tone bell, or shaker. We'll have a few instruments available to borrow — first come, first served! Join us and learn how much fun samba percussion can be!


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Education: (U.N.A.M.) Bachelor’s degree, in Classical Percussion NYC: Frank Malabé, Afro-Cuban and Latin; Horace Arnold, Jazz; Pandit Kinnar Seen, Tabla (classical Indian Music). Lessons and clinics: Steve Gadd, Billy Higgins, Tommy Campbell, Omar Hakim, Vinnie Calaiuta, Giovanni Hidalgo, Patato Valdez. Experience: 25+ yrs. teaching drums/percussion. (All styles). Former students: Max Spielberg (Steven Spielberg & Amy Irving’s son); Michael Beinhorn’s daughter; Wally “Gator” Watson (drummer-Lionel Hampton [Vibes]); Melissa Meyer, Music Manager Peter Mensch’s wife [ACDC]); Lilian Garcia, WWE diva & singer), Peter Bernstein’s Mom (guitarist); Tony Machine “drummer/Actor” (Buster Poindexter, The NY Dolls), Tony “T-Funk” (NYC Uternity Orchestra); Instructed actors for the touring “Blue Man Group”. Worked playing percussion at NYU modern dance & Afro-Cuban programs. He has instructed Afro-Cuban-Latin to NYC teachers, bandleaders, professional percussionist from many countries. He’d been endorsed and is a member of the Vic Firth Private Drum Teacher Program (PDT) since 1995. Walter was recommended in Modern Drummer Magazine August-1990 “International drum teacher’s guide” being the only teacher in NYC (Manhattan) to be included in this guide. Leaving in NYC, Walter volunteered in non-profit organizations teaching drums and percussion for disabled children, & percussion ensembles in summer camps for low-income families with children. Walter relocated to Seattle 2015.

Walter is offering AFRO-CUBAN-LATIN RHYTHMS FOR DRUM KIT & CONGAS.  Understand and learn the Clave & what it means to play the clave in 3-2, 2-3, & Bell patterns for different rhythms. This is very beneficial for any musicians/Instruments who want to learn the proper way for playing Latin or Latin-Jazz. Participants that don’t know how to read music are encouraged to record this workshop, since this workshop may be intensive for some people. 


I am heavily influenced by world music of all different cultures.  Notably many of my techniques, and rhythmic inspiration pulls from Indian (Carnatic), Iranian (Persian), and Middle-Eastern influences.  I have developed a unique hybrid techniques that can be applied onto any hand-drum, with these techniques I enjoy playing grooves, rhythms, and unique beat cycles inspired from world music.   I love fusion music, incorporating ideas, techniques and the spirit from world music has been an awesome experience.  

I am offering the workshop Classical Indian Carnatic Techniques & Rhythms for Djembe and other hand-drums.  This workshop will teach a variety of techniques & rhythms that can be implemented on an assortment of hand-drums.  Students will learn unique finger and hand techniques to produce unique sound variations on the drum.  The concept of 'BOLS" will be taught; where the spoken word corresponds to a specific hand technique.  The main drum of focus for the workshop will be the Djembe.  Please know fundamental djembe techniques (Bass, Tone, Slap).  Teaching format may vary depending on class size and overall student skill. Limited handouts will be provided. 


Yasmin has been dancing, playing percussion like Middle Eastern dumbek, performing, teaching for 38 years in the Pacific Northwest.  Her styles includes Moroccan Shikhat, Afghani Logari and Herati and Egyptian Ghawazee.  She brings with her the rich culture, music and traditional costumes.  She retired from Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston, ID where she taught the Middle Eastern Arts.  She has traveled to Morocco to learn the dances.  Yasmin has performed with Hejira, Ek Balaam and Pax Lumina bands.  She is the head percussionists for these bands.


Moroocan Shikhat.  I will share the history, costume, music and percussion of the Moroccan Shikhat.  The Shikhat is a woman's dance but the men can learn the rhythms of the dance.  I will bring my Moroccan bendir to demonstrate the rhythm.


Zorina Wolf began drumming in 1989 with Baba Olatunji and remained with him for 14 years until his death. She knew instinctively that drumming and rhythm was path to healing, leadership, wholeness, and creativity. From 1996-2008 Zorina studied the TaKeTiNa rhythm method with founder, Reinhard Flatischler. Through her studies with both teachers she has formed her own work- Whole Person Drumming. She published her first book and DVD in 2016 and is currently working on her second book embodying rhythm.


Step into Your Rhythmic Landscape
Experience another way to put rhythm on your drum or any instrument!
Become friends with beats/offbeats, finding the one, double time. Use hands or mallets on drums,  or hand percussion.
Use the voice as an anchor. Explore the great frontier of time and space!

Deconstructing 3+3+2 and 4+4
Guys! Stop! its not as heady as you think. bring your drums, any drums! if you are up for a challenge wear good walking shoes and prepare to get your mind blown. You will understand clave like never before


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