Drums of the Diaspora is a groundbreaking collaboration tracing the roots of the drums across the Atlantic and Caribbean, featuring master percusionists Joaquin Pozo from Cuba, Dende from Brazil and Bonga Jean-Baptiste from Haiti. From the influential tumbadoras of Cuba, to the booming bass timbau of Brasil and the mystic tambous of Haiti, percussion plays an undeniable role as the singular, connective force for musical traditions found all over the world and particularly along the coasts of The Americas where enslaved peoples from West Africa formed bonds between common cultures.
Drums of the Diaspora is a celebration of the communal lineage of this vital instrument and the artists that use the drum as their primary voice. Where language divides these native Portuguese, Spanish and Kreyol speakers, the drum unites them.
Together these three master percussionists form an explosive and transcendent bond elevated by the ancestors and the common musical heritage of one exceptional instrument.
Dendê is a percussionist, singer, composer, bandleader, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. He’s been a professional musician since the age of 14, when he appeared in the frontline of Timbalada, Carlinhos Brown’s superstar percussion ensemble. Since 2001, he’s been splitting his time between New York and Brazil, leading his various ensembles of traditional and contemporary music, and has performed with the likes of Dance Brazil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, and David Byrne, among others. His own bands include the folkloric music and dance troupe Ologundê, the acoustic Samba de Três, and Arrastão do Dendê, a traditional Afro bloco samba party band.
ABOUT JOAQUIN POZO
Master Cuban percussionist Joaquin Pozo, nicknamed "El Pulpo," or “The Octopus,” is known for his unique singular style, a melodic approach to drumming which is identified by its percussive inventiveness. Pozo is descended from a long line of revered Cuban musicians; and having grown up in Havana, Pozo was very early indoctrinated in the rich musical tradition that bears witness to much of his family’s legacy. Over the past 35 years, Joaquin has honed his traditional and popular chops mastering both folkloric forms like rumba and more modern forms like jazz, creating a style that melds both sacred and secular.
As a band leader, Pozo has recorded Cuban rumba, salsa, and Afro-Latin jazz. As a sideman, he's appeared with super popular and revered Latin groups Grupo Laye, Conjunto Chappottin and Grupo Niche. His discography spans decades and includes three offerings of his own. His recording, “A Ti, Papa” was a thoughtful and fiery tribute to his father, Jorge Pozo, where Joaquin reinterpreted some of the beloved classics his father composed, many which have become standard classics in the modern Cuban repertoire.
Gaston “Bonga” Jean-Baptiste is a musical virtuoso who has been performing and studying traditional Haitian drum, dance and song since the age of seven. He began playing drums in his family's vodou temple in his hometown of Croix-des-Mission in La Plaine, an area of Haiti known for culture and history. Bonga is regarded as a master of the Afro-Haitian drum, sought-after for his extensive repertoire of pan-African rhythms. Bonga is also one of the few drum experts and craftsmen outside of Haiti who continue to build traditional drums using century-old techniques. As a core member of the seminal Haitian roots bands, Boukman Eksperyans and Foulà, Bonga was invited to the U.S. in the '90s when musicians were becoming a strong voice for the Haitian people. Since then, Bonga has performed worldwide and has been featured on stage and recordings with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Wyclef Jean and Salif Keita.
Cover charge: $10