Tuesday, May 18, 12:30-2 p.m., at the College of Alameda, F Building Student Lounge
During Spring Break 2010 Professor Wanda Sabir went to Haiti. She visited schools, orphanages and other organizations devastated by the Jan. 12 earthquake. She saw crumbled and severely damaged national monuments in Port-au-Prince and just north on her way to Cap-Haïtien.
She met wonderful people like Rea Dol, whose school, Sopudep, was damaged and the neighborhood so severely damaged that she decided to rebuild in another city nearby where the stench of death isn’t as powerful and the PTSD triggers absent. Of her staff of 50 over half were homeless three months after the quake, yet each day they showed up along with students the week she was there to help build a wall around the perimeter of the new school site. The former mayor of Petionville also came by. He is a structural engineer and is consulting with Mrs. Dol on the new structure.
Later that week Professor Sabir got a tour of Cité Soleil with a young activist, Jean Ristil Jean Baptiste, who showed her bullet ridden buildings where many more recently orphaned children’s parents were killed by the government.
There will also be information about grassroots organizations one can assist with money and in-kind donations. Professor Sabir would like to return in early June for two weeks, this time to visit Port-au-Prince again and Southern Haiti: Jacmel, Les Cayes, Port Salut.
The event is Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 12:30-2 p.m., in the F-Building Student Lounge at the College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda. For information, contact Professor Sabir at firstname.lastname@example.org and (510) 748-2131. It is a free event.
We will open with drumming and a blessing followed by brief history lesson and a panel discussion, slides and an opportunity for the college community to ask questions. Wanda Sabir will moderate along with officers from ASCOA.
Colette Eloi: Colette Eloi is an artist and student of the diverse dance styles of the African Diaspora along with ballet and modern. Her emphasis is on Haiti, the native land of her parents. As a dancer-choreographer, Eloi has performed extensively, both nationally and internationally. She is artistic director of El Wah Movement, which presents Haitian dance, along with African Diaspora Dance. Her new work will use the folkloric dances of Haiti to address some of the country’s issues in association with the Western world. Eloi will offer social commentary about the politics of poverty through both traditional and contemporized Haitian dance, as well as sound and projected visuals.
Michelle Jacques: Michelle Jacques is the artistic director and founder of the CHELLE! and Friends and founder and producer of the Queens of New Orleans Music Festival. She performs educational programs for the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music program and children’s concerts for Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, California.
Ms. Jacques is also a founding member of the Street Sounds a cappella quintet. She has toured throughout the United States and Europe performing with and alongside many well known artists, including Manhattan Transfer, Wynton Marsalis, Linda Hopkins, Ladysmith Black Mambaza, Pete Seger, Al Greene and The Persuasions. She also performed in Geneva, Switzerland, for the United Nations World Conference of Human Rights, the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Gurten Music Festival and The Berne Jazz Festival.
Her credits include recipient of the City Of Oakland Individual Artist grant for 2008, winner of the 1992 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) for “Best Folk/Progressive Song,” “Home Africa,” soundtrack recording for the 2010 movie “La Mission” with Benjamin Bratt, and served on the board of directors of Arts First Oakland.
Carolyn Brandy: Carolyn Brandy is a percussionist, composer, performer and educator, and cultural worker. She has been a pioneer in opening doors for women in the male-dominated world of percussion and started playing conga drums in 1968. She has worked in the Bay Area for many years with many groups such as RhythMix, Jazz Camp West, The Jazzschool, Oakland Jazz Choir, Oakland Youth choir, Redwood Cultural Work, Berkeley and Oakland public schools, Skin Talk, The Faye Carol Band, Women Drummers International, Born to Drum Camp for Women Drummers, and many other groups and artists. She was the founder of Sistah Boom and was also a founding member of the all women jazz quintet Alive! which toured nationally for 10 years, and produced three albums, which have been released on a compilation CD, “Always Alive!” Ms. Brandy released a self-produced CD of her own compositions in 1995, entitled “Skin Talk.”
Carolyn has been a drummer and student of Cuban folkloric music for over 40 years. She has been a practitioner of the Yoruba-based Cuban religion, Regla de Ocha, also known as Santeria, since 1977. She was initiated as a priest of the religion in Havana, Cuba, by Amelia Pedroso in 2000.
She has led five tours to the Island of Cuba to study folkloric music and dance. She has organized workshops in Havana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Baracoa, where the groups have studied with masters of Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Carolyn has a degree in music from Holy Names University in Oakland. Contact Carolyn for more info: email@example.com. View her websites at www.borntodrum.net, www.womendrummers.org, www.carolynbrandy.com, www.ojalawomen.com.