All are welcome from beginner to professional, so reserve your drum spot here.
Vado has been dancing and drumming since he was a toddler in his native village of Toufinga, Ivory Coast. The drums are the heart of village life, and he learned to play them, repair them, and make them. He then went on to become a principal dancer at the National Ballet of Ivory Coast, where he learned drum and dance traditions from over 60 ethnic groups, which he shares with New Yorkers through teaching, performing, and presenting his dance company, Kotchegna Dance Company.
Vado and KDC produce an annual spectacle, Kekene, in October, that showcases the dynamic musical and theatrical traditions of Ivory Coast through village narratives and a huge company of dancers and guest artists. This year Kekene XI will be Sunday October 22 at the Citigroup Theater at Alvin Ailey Dance, 405 West 55th St in Manhattan.
Vado wants New Yorkers to understand the beauty of the intricate and syncopated rhythms that make up exciting djembe drumming in West Africa. Drumming from Ivory Coast has many beautiful rhythms such as Temate, Zaouly, and Katana.The djembe makes three sounds that are used in lead and accompaniment rhythms, supported by the three bass drum sounds make by the doundoun drums, played with sticks. The doundoun drum has three parts: songba, kinkine, and doundoun. These go with the djembe playing.
Anyone can enjoy playing West African drums, either the hand-played lead drum, (djembe), or the bass drum, (doundoun), with sticks. The company has a female doundoun player, and women playing doundouns is a beloved tradition in Senegal.
Flushing Town Hall is an incredible artistic resource for Queens and New York City. The dedicated support of traditional artists is unusual and very touching to artists like Vado, who have to work very hard to be known and seen. Flushing Town Hall showcases the riches of the world’s cultures, and Vado is very happy to be a part of this beautiful artistic endeavor.