July 15 – October 21: People of The Drum | FREE, All Ages, Four Local Drum Ensembles


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People of the Drum: A Collaboration with the Obo Addy Legacy Project,
Medicine Bear, Mexica Tiahui and muralist Rodolfo Serna

Sunday, July 15, @ Directors Park, SW Park & Yamhill, in Portland
Sunday, August 19 @ Mt. Scott, 5530 SE 72nd St., in Portland
Sunday, October 21 @ University Park, 9009 N. Foss Ave., in Portland
3:30 p.m. | FREE | All Ages
More Info: www.portlandtaiko.org

A Collaboration with the Obo Addy Legacy Project (Ghanaian drum & dance ensemble), Medicine Bear (Native American Drum & Dance Ensemble), Mexica Tiahui (Aztec Drum & Dance Ensemble), Portland Taiko (Asian-American Drum Ensemble) & Muralist Rodolfo Serna.

It’s time to celebrate the universal voice of the drum! The drum beats throughout the history and traditions of many cultures, this special event invites you to join in the celebration of that rhythm. Four local drum and performance ensembles will share their individual traditions and songs, and come together as an extraordinary ensemble.
Muralist Rodolfo Serna will work with local artists to create an onsite mural. We invite all the artists of our community, young and old, to participate in the creation!

You have three opportunities to celebrate the history, power and people of the drum! July 15 at Director’s Park in downtown Portland, August 19 at the Mt Scott Community Center in SE Portland, and October 21 at University Park in North Portland.

We are honored to be working with the following collaborators:

OBO ADDY—African Drumming and Dance In 2005, Portland Taiko collaborated with Ghanaian master drummer, Obo Addy to create an original composition, Trading Thunder; this gratifying project was our first experience in creating with an artist from a cultural background distinct from our own. Now 75-years old, Obo was designated a “master drummer” at the age of six. He went on to become one of the originators of “World Beat” music by fusing western forms with African rhythms. In 1992, he was commissioned by Kronos Quartet to write “Wawshishijay” for their chart-topping album, Pieces of Africa. In 1996, he was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship Award by the National Endowment for the Arts– the highest honor a traditional artist can receive in this country. Settling in Portland in 1978, Obo created Homowo African Arts & Culture—an organization that has introduced thousands of people to African music and dance through festivals, school programs and performances.

MEDICINE BEAR – Native American Drumming and Dance For the last 12 years Medicine Bear has been providing spiritual and cultural guidance to the community, using Native American (Lakota) traditions and ceremonies to promote healing, sobriety and well-being. John Brave Hawk’s leadership and commitment have been the driving force behind this effort, carried out with the help of community volunteers. Communities served by Medicine Bear include at-risk youth, families, and the homeless. The Medicine Bear singers are a cultural group that has formed out of this community. Led by James Logan (American Indian Movement member, Native advocate and mentor) the group sings to support community events such as powwows and other cultural events.

MEXICA TIAHUI (Mexican/Aztec) Mexica Tiahui is a traditional Aztec dance circle that was established over 10 years ago in Oregon with the mission of continuing traditions, ceremonies, education, and culture related to Mexican indigenous roots. Mexica Tiahui has carried its educational commitment to communities in the Northwest with the goal of lifting consciousness by focusing on the importance of retaining cultural heritage.

RODOLFO SERNA--Muralist In the tradition of his ancestors, Rodolfo Serna shares his art with the people and sees the community as his own extended family. He brings this community mindfulness to his advocacy for visual arts education, work that’s created over thirty, youth-led murals on the walls of the greater Portland Metro Area, in collaboration with service organizations, educational institutions, and local businesses. Arts inclusion opportunities are his way of bringing balance and confidence to peoples’ lives. For the past ten years, Rodolfo has worked with at-risk and homeless youth communities in Portland.

Founded in 1994, Portland Taiko was the first professional taiko (Japanese drum performance) ensemble in the Pacific Northwest. They have been a strong artistic presence in Portland and beyond for seventeen years. Portland Taiko pushes the boundaries of taiko expression by integrating contemporary sound, modern and folkdance movement, and world music with traditional taiko rhythms. Artistic Director Michelle Fujii and Managing Director Robin Mullins lead the company which performs annually for over 50,000 people locally and nationally in concerts, community performances, and tour engagements. Portland Taiko also offers studio classes, school programs, and community educational work to students of all ages.