Vashon Island World Music & Dance Festival
A relaxing afternoon/evening of music, food and fun, this annual festival offers audience members of all ages an opportunity to bask in late afternoon sun, munch on ripe blackberries and dance barefoot in the grass to live music in one of the Island's favorite summer venues.
This year's line up includes Brazilian folkloric songs and dance from Samba Assim, the Afro/Peruvian sound of DE CajON Project and the infectious, joyful drumming and dancing of Message from Guinea. Delicious world-inspired wraps, salads, desserts and beverages will be available. Adult festival-goers can also indulge in Henna body art, face painting will be available for kids.
Message from Guinea, a group of extraordinary Seattle based West African artists spread their powerful, authentic message of joy, unity and transformation by employing powerful rhythms, high energy dancing and melodic songs steeped in the cultural heritage of Guinea, West Africa. Simply put, Message from Guinea opens hearts and ignites passion.
This formidable group grew up living their musical tradition. Guinea is one of the few places in Africa where indigenous drumming and dance traditions are still woven into everyday life. From childhood each performer has danced competitively and received training from cultural luminaries such as Kemoko Sano. They have toured with Les Ballets Africans, Guinea's national company. Performers include: Abdoulaye Sylla master dancer and drummer; Karim Koumbassa, drummer, dancer, choreographer, director and instrument maker; Manimou Camara, drummer; Naby Camara, master balafon player; and Ousmane Sylla, dancer.
Message from Guinea beautifully fuses cultural tradition with modern sensibility. Through virtuosity and charisma, they invite the audience to join in the essence of Guinea's heritage. "We get great pleasure from experiencing others connect with their joy as they are touched by the heartbeat of the drum and exuberance of the music. We love making everybody happy," said one member.
DE CajON Project, lead by Director and Peruvian national dance champion Monica Rojas, seeks to bridge local and global efforts to promote the cajon as a symbol of Peruvian identity and to recognize the contributions of the African descent people in Peru. The cajon is a box drum played by slapping the front face (generally thin plywood) with the hands. The most widely used Afro-Peruvian musical instrument in the 20th century, slaves of West and Central African origin in the Americas, specifically Peru, are considered to be the source of the cajon.
The five-person group brings Afro-Peruvian music to light with unparalleled energy and commitment. Players include: Amy Beegle, percussion, Assistant Professor of Music Education at PLU; Mark Oi, guitar, most recognized for his association with saxophone legend John Tchicai; Jabali Steward, vocals, percussion; Rafael Vargas, guitar, Peruvian guitarist and composer; Taryn Webber, percussion, vocals and music teacher.
Rojas, doctor of socio-cultural anthropology has conducted extensive research on cultural traditions of Peru's Afro-descendant population. She has contributed as choreographer, cultural consultant, dance and music instructor and guest artist in Peru for many groups including the Center of Music and Dance of the Catholic University of Peru. Regionally she has worked with the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, the UW Ethnomusicology Division and Fremont Arts Council among many others.
Samba Assim, comprised of all regional players, will begin the festival with an upbeat selection of traditional Brazilian Folkloric songs primarily of Northeastern Brazil. Featured dancer, Dora Oliveira, has danced for 30 years and toured the world as principal dancer for world-famous samba group Olodum. Performing a variety of Brazilian rhythms with traditional roots, each percussive rhythm carries its own significance. Musical styles range from Rio Style Samba Batucada to the Northeast rhythms of Afoxe, Maracatu, BaiÃ£o and Samba Reggae. Many songs are based on the Folkloric tradition of call and response. Lead by Jeff Busch who holds extensive knowledge of Brazilian music traditions, Busch also provides percussion for the Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto, Sambatuque and Tumbao. Hand percussionist Vincent Gonzales originally hails from Los Angeles and is a frequent guest musician with many local Latin, Jazz and Brazilian bands. Denny Stern is conversant in a wide variety of musical rhythms and is the percussionist with Abrace, Pello El Afrikan, Sambatuque and Freestyle Candela. "When this group plays, the crowd can't sit still," exclaimed a fan after a recent performance.
Special thanks to Festival sponsors Vashon Park District and Vashon Thriftway. Camp Burton is an alcohol-free venue.
9326 SW Bayview Drive
Vashon Island, WA 98070
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|