The Baltimore Rhythm Festival is back, bigger and better than before. This festival that has previously hosted legendary drummers like Glen Velez, the founding Father of the modern frame drum movement; Orlando Cotto, a world-reknowned percussionist and marimba specialist; Babatunde Olatunje, the famous Nigerian drummer; and Tony Vacca; an international percussionist; to name a few.
This year’s festival will take place on October 4, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the 2640 Space at 2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland. There will be a variety of workshops, kid’s drum circles, some of the regions finest drum makers, great food and crafts, open jams as well as semi-structured improvisations and mini performances. Festival attendees will be able to Telesma, enjoy the deep traditional rhythms and dances of Ghana’s Fritete and and sway to the Middle Eastern grooves of The Fez Tones. The evening will culminate in the spirited performances by the ConneXions School Djembe Ensemble, music by the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, and drumming by Urban Foli led by Master Djembefola Menes Yahudah.
Telesma’s music has been described as “psychedelic tribal modern world dance music, “ with diverse sounds ranging from intense polyrhythmic rock to the trance-like pulses of modern electronic dance/groove music. The eclectic band are a festival favorite.
Fritete means “things of the ancient,” and is embodied in the traditional Ghanian dances of the Fritete African Drum and Dance Ensemble. They incorporate calls and chants into their vigorous drum and dance sessions.
The Fez Tones bring a decidedly Middle Eastern flair to the festival with their drumming on traditional instruments (qanun, ney, oud, dumbek and riqq).
ConneXions School Djembe Ensemble will get you on your feet with their spirited Djembe drum performance. This Baltimore City Charter School uses African culture to teach leadership.
The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change is composed of a core group of renowned singers and dancers from Liberia: Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Zaye Tete, and Tokay Tomah. These women have joined together to create music intended to name and lament the injustice of domestic violence, to encourage women to make their voices heard.
Urban Foli is an eclectic mix of traditional West African music, jazz, funk, hip-hop, spoken word, dance and truth.
To learn more about this festival, or to purchase tickets, visit the official festival website or following them on their Facebook page.