Alex Weiss & Different Drum, Artist in Schools

Alex Weiss & A Different Drum, certified Artists in the Schools, take students on a musical journey that bridges Africa and the Americas through song, dance and stories by weaving the history and cultures that connect these continents into a multi-cultural quilt of entertaining, educational performances.  From the driving Rhythms of Mali through the beautiful Sambas of Brazil to the vibrant Salsa of Cuba and the playful Cumbia of Columbia, students will learn about the musical instruments that create this cultural music and the manner in which certain rhythms from these countries have influenced contemporary music.

The band is led by Alex Weiss who developed a love for and understanding of world music during his travels across the U.S. and Mexico, through Europe and the Middle East, to North Africa and Central America.  A composer, multi-instrumentalist and director for Different Drum, Alex plays the congas, alto recorder, coronet, flugelhorn and other instruments.  He is accompanied on the congas by his Wife Li-Lan who also plays other percussion instruments.  The duo often plays in festivals, libraries and cafes.

PERFORMANCES

The Different Drum Experience (Gr. K-12):  Alex Weiss & A Different Drum take students on a musical journey that bridges Africa and the Americas through song, dance and stories by weaving the history and cultures that connect these continents into a multi-cultural quilt of entertaining, educational performances.  From the driving Rhythms of Mali through the beautiful Sambas of Brazil to the vibrant Salsa of Cuba and the playful Cumbia of Columbia, students will learn about the musical instruments that create this cultural music and the manner in which certain rhythms from these countries have influenced contemporary music.  On this adventure, the audience is invited to sing along with the performers, to clap, to dance and to play percussion instruments in concert with the performers. A “Question and Answer” period will follow the show.

WORKSHOPS (Gr. 3-8):  Through “A Journey Through Rhythms” Percussion Workshop, multi-instrumentalist Alex Weiss teaches the evolution of musical rhythms from the African Diaspora to the rich music of the Caribbean and the Americas.  Styles presented include: South African township music, Brazilian Samba, Colombian Cumbia, Mexican Mariachi, Caribbean Calypso and Swinging Jazz from the U.S.  Alex will orchestrate specific rhythms with the class and play traditional songs on the trumpet, wood flute or harmonica while students play a variety of hand drums and percussion instruments. Stories and poetry are also included in this class.


 

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