i have my own opinions on this subject & have tried to use famous people to illustrate my point. my opinion that blackness is both in the eye of the beholder AND innate - originate with the "one…Continue
I'm a Latino (AngloRican) born and raised in the foothills in Western New York. Blessed to live in many different locations and types of places, I've had a variety of different music teachers from different backgrounds and traditions. After graduating from Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts with a degree in music performance (classical guitar), i switched my main instrument to percussion. Early on, I performed djembe with the African American Cultural Center, the Langston Hughes Center Drummers and Dancers, samba percussion with Grupo Baoba (Puerto Rico), bomba with Son de Batey (puerto rico), dun duns with Abundance, cua with The Wendell Rivera Bomba and Plena Ensemble and all kinds of percussion with the 12/8 Path Marching Band. My first serious musical job in 1998 was touring with the legendary One World Tribe as percussionist which ended formally in 2002. In New York City, I've been members of Harambee Drum & Dance NYC, Los Bomberos De Brooklyn, Uptown Dance Academy (performing group) & in 2008/2009, in the Drumadics, a subway based percussion & and horns ensemble led by bucket virtuoso, William B. Johnson.
To date, I've opened for/shared the stage with Burning Spear, Gangstarr, Merl Saunders, Culture, Viento de Agua, Simone (Brazil), Toots and the Maytals, John Brown's Body, Wailing Souls, Mickey Hart & Planet Drum, Yellowman, Alma Moyo, Steve Bernstein & Sex Mob. Some highlights of venues I've played at are El Coliseo in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ujima theater, Kleinhans, HSBC arena in Buffalo, BB Kings NYC, Aaron Davis Hall, Lincoln Center & The Apollo to name a few. I had one of my compositions premiered at the 50th anniversary gala of the Alvin Ailey company and another at the New York Latino Film Festival '07.
I currently teach percussion at Boy's Harbor Conservatory in East Harlem - a world renowned school for Latin percussion and through Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. On the left, there's a video of me playing "Kuku", west african drum and dance rhythm from 2006. I'm doing this one in a couple of styles that I learned from my Senegalese bredren - one from upstate NY and the other in Dakar. This is NOT in the typical Guinean form.
I use Pro Tools LE as a tool for music composition and of course, recording. In the late 90's, it became my medium to experiment with all the musical ideas from all the different instruments and genres that I had become interested in. I have made music for commercials & documentaries, rap & reggae instrumentals for lyricists, afro-latin electro-punk tracks for my group, rock tracks for my other group, plenty of dance tracks for choreographers, percussion tracks for study, sometimes i just make music for fun & experimentation.
I DJ all kinds of music & specialize in reggae. My parties are called: "Shaking The Tree Of Life". Given free reign of the sounds, I mix in anything I like: rap, soul, classics, house, broken, samba, merengue, salsa - some of my short promotional mixes are posted above. my reggae mixes (Shaking the Tree of Life Vols. 1/2/& 3 - roots are also available. Incidentally, the incomparable DJ Kiva, designed the covers for these mixes.
Hey babes! I'm doing a video on the girls, guys, queens, and etc. of afropunk.The video will be pictures of the afropunk people to show off their styles, personality,and all around BADASSINESS (if thats a word) attitude! So if you want to be in my my video contact me at:
thanks ever so much for the add! btw the spook is one of my all-time favorite films also. took me 10 years to find a copy of the brilliant Herbie Hancock album but unlike ear candy of the times it was well worth the wait!
Alpha Betts of OmegaBand