The Hop’s World Music Percussion Ensemble presents a concert of sacred and secular music from around the world on Sunday, February 7, at 2 pm in Spaulding Auditorium. Titled “Joy to the World,” the instrumentation includes drums, marimba and strings.
Made up of students as well as professional musicians from Vermont and New Hampshire, the ensemble plays a variety of non-western drumming styles and techniques and performs a wide-ranging repertoire, from ancient African rhythms to rock, rap, hip-hop, Afro-pop, salsa, Brazilian sambas and world jazz. Occasionally collaborating with other Hop ensembles, students have opportunities to perform on vocals, bass, guitar, horns, piano, drums and percussion instruments—and to take on leadership roles by directing the group in special types of music. Concerts often feature professional guest musicians and dancers, such as Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, saxophonist Odean Pope, master drummer Abdoul Doumbia and flutist Ko Umezaki.
Shabazz, director of the World Music Percussion Ensemble since 1984, is an ethnomusicologist, master drummer and adjunct associate professor of music at Dartmouth. He has also taught at University of California at Berkeley and Duke University. He has studied in Cuba and at the University of Ghana and Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, and received a M.Ed. Degree from Cambridge College. He has performed with Max Roach, Lionel Hampton and Julius Hemphill, and with musician/griots from Africa. For many years he performed with Wind and Thunder, touring to France, the Caribbean, Canada and the U.S. From 1991 to 2005, he led the world-jazz band Bala Bala. An initiated member of the Ancestral Shrine of the Ashanti Nation in Ghana, he has authored articles and created an educator’s guide in conjunction with the 2004 Oscar-winning movie Ray, and was a consultant with John Chernoff in the writing of African Rhythms and African Sensibilities. He also teaches percussion to gifted and autistic children.