Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bolokada receives a grant - Envision 365 from Urbana Public Arts Commission

The Urbana community has several upcoming opportunities to experience the incredible talents of West African Master Drummer Moussa Bolokada Conde. Bolokada has been playing the djembe (hand drum) since before he could walk, and has toured the world as the premiere soloist for Les Percussions de Guinee. He has released two CD's, two DVD's, and is featured in the IMAX movie Pulse: A STOMP Oddesey. Bolokada is currently a visiting faculty member with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, and has been awarded an Envision 365 grant from the Urbana Public Arts Commission. The grant will fund a series of workshops and performances of traditional drumming from Bolokada's homeland of Guinea, accompanied by his local performing ensemble, Rhythm Manding. These events will take place in Urbana, and be presented free of charge.

On Saturday, September 12, 11:00 a.m, at the Common Ground Food Co-op (outside the east end of Lincon Square Mall, near the Farmer's Market, in Urbana), Bolokada and Rhythm Manding will perform and the Co-Op will prepare traditional food from Guinea, West Africa.

On Saturday, October 3rd, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., at the Urbana Free Library (Race and Elm in Downtown Urbana), Bolokada and Rhythm Manding will present a 45 minute performance, after which Bolokada will teach a traditional Mande drumming class for children (ages 6 and up) and adults. (There will be drums available for those not able to bring their own.)

There will also be an event at King Elementary School in Urbana during the 2009/2010 school year (date TBA), which will consist of a day of traditional Mande drumming workshops for the students, followed by a performance for the school and community by Bolokada and Rhythm Manding.

For more information on these events, or Bolokada's weekly community classes on Sunday afternoons, please send an email to bolokada.conde@gmail.com

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