Kalyan Patak            Jean-Christophe Leroy           Janet Cramer


Program Description: 

The Rhythmunity Ensemble is a group of percussionists hailing from all over the world who present a musical world tour of traditional percussion music.  Committed to education in the belief that knowledge of other cultures can break down barriers between cultures, the ensemble has performed for thousands of public school students, college students, teachers, and business people.  The program interweaves music, folklore, history, and geography in a very entertaining, educational and accessible presentation.  Some of the cultures represented in the program include Cuban, West African, Arab, Indian, and Brazilian.  The ensemble members are all highly accomplished musicians who have lived, studied, and performed all over the globe.


  •      Percussion     
  •      Balaphone
  •      Guinea
  •      Malinke
  •      India
  •      Conga
  •      Bata Toque
  •      Middle East
  •      Samba
  •      Djembe

Musical excerpts to be selected from the following:

1)     Traditional rhythms of the Malinke people of Guinea, West Africa, including Zawouli, Kuku, Tiriba and Menjani.
2)     Traditional Balaphone from West Africa
3)     Traditional rhythms from North Africa and the Middle East.
4)     Traditional tabla music from Northern India, and folkloric dhol drum.
5)     Cuban rumba and Bata music.
6)     The music of Capoeira from northern Brazil
7)     Traditional samba batucata from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Q:        What instruments were used in today’s program?
A:        Bells, shekere, djembe, djun-djun, balaphone, tar, Egyptian tabla, riq, tabla,dhol, dholak, bata, congas, clave, berimbau, pandiero, repinique, caxia, surdo, agogo bells

Q:        What makes a traditional samba band?
A:        About 400 drummers.

Q:        Where is Guinea and what is the main ethnic group?
A:        West Africa and the Malinke people.

Q:       How does a tabla player from India learn to play?
A:        By speaking the rhythms.

Q:        What Orchestral musical instruments is the West African Balaphone related to?
A:        Xylophones and Marimbas

Q:        From what African Country and Culture does Cuban bata drumming come?
A:        Yoruba culture from Nigeria

Q:        What does the word “Iya” mean?
A:        “Iya” means “Mother” in the Yoruba language, and “Iya” is the biggest drum in the bata drum ensemble

Q:        What Spanish word does the word clave come from?
A:        Llave, which means key.  Clave is the key to the music.

Q:        What is Capoeira?
A:        A martial art developed by slaves in Brazil training to fight for their freedom.

Q:        How was the Berimbau used in Capoeira?
A:        It was used by the lookouts to signal the participants if someone was coming.

Q:        Can you sing a rhythm from the Middle East?
A:        dum tek taka tek dum taka tek      (say each word evenly – taka is twice as fast as dum or tek).  The name of the rhythm is maqsoum.   


    What was your favorite part of the program?
     How important are traditions in a culture?
     Do you think it is important to know about other cultures?  Why?
     Does being a musician look like fun or a lot of hard work?
     How are rhythms from around the world different or similar?
     Did the program spark your curiosity to learn more about the world?  How will you accomplish that?
     What do you think are the most important aspects to being a musician?
     Of the countries ‘visited’ in the program, which would you most like to visit?  Why?
     What do you think is the most important thing you learned in the program?  Why?

Please send artwork / essays / evaluations to:          

International Music Foundation
Maria Valdes-Vargas
30 E. Adams Street, Suite 1206
Chicago, IL   60603 

11 E. Adams St., Suite 350-B
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312/670-6888
Fax: 312/670-9166