Kalamazoo Community Rhythm Project
Dunuya Drum and Dance is a global drumming collective presenting music of (West) Africa and the Diaspora (including Cuba, the Caribbean, North Africa, and Brazil). The fundamental mission of the group is to manifest spirit in community through sacred public performance. Our goal is to create an environment of healing and celebration for people from vast socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and age demographics. Furthermore, the fundamental guiding principle of the group is that art should be accessible, affordable, and available to everyone. We strive to work with agencies and venues that share in this vision. A central attribute of our shows is the opportunity for audience interaction, be it through singing, dancing, or playing instruments right along with us. As such, our shows reach audience members of all ages, and make for a rare opportunity for families and community to come together. Dunuya performances emphasize respectful scholarship, immersion, and proficiency of the musical literature we present. Group members have traveled to many regions in Central and West Africa, Brazil, and Latin/Central America to study these rich cultural traditions. Each member is committed to their own musical and artistic growth and development, coupled with a passion to share and teach these traditions to others. As such, we each continue to train and study with master musicians and dancers within the Kalamazoo region and abroad. Carolyn Koebel is an eclectic world percussionist and music therapist, focusing on rhythm-based interventions across a broad spectrum of populations, including community-based programming. She spear-headed this particular project in an effort to bring diverse aspects of the Kalamazoo music/cultural community into wider view. This CD is the first in an intended series for this regional ethnomusicological pursuit. As a founding member of Dunuya, Carolyn seeks to bring these collaborations into public performances, connecting people from all walks of life through music, song, and dance. Carolyn has been drumming for nearly 25 years, spanning the Western classical tradition, Afro-Cuban sacred traditions, West African drum and dance, Brazilian samba, Irish drumming, Middle Eastern percussion, and investigation into many international styles of music and cultural healing traditions. She has studied with the likes of Glen Velez, Layne Redmond, Francisco Mora Catlett, Navjot Sandhu, Hamid Drake, Francis Kofi, Mary Ellen Donald, Raquy Danziger, Karim Nagi and countless others from within their cultural traditions. She presently works as a hospice music therapist, but has experience in a broad range of clinical settings.
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