Afro/Latin Drumming

Afro/Latin Drumming
Joel introduces students to traditional rhythms of West Africa and the African Diaspora- such as Haiti or Cuba. Students will learn to play as part of an ensemble, improvise solos and understand African polyrhymic musical structure. Proper technique, posture and confidence will also be emphasized. Joel encourages exploration of the drum and creation of new music- believing the drum has a place in tradition but also in contemporary music/life.
Matica can provide d'jembes (hand drums) and djun djuns (stick drums) which make up the "djembe orchestra." These are all drums that Joel and Heidi have carved from ecologically harvested wood.
Tuning and info on drum construction is also a topic for students.
Class is appropriate for varied settings as well as students with special needs.
Residencies can culminate in a performance.

Students will develop a deep connection to the drum through MATICA'S DRUM-MAKING WORKSHOPS for D'JEMBE and D'JUN


Hand and Stick drumming

Hand  and Stick drumming
Listen and play the beat


This week's rhythm is JOLE, An Afro-latin Rhythm that is played with a mixture of drums(africa/Southamerica).






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Afro-Venezuelan piece

Afro-Venezuelan  piece
Joel Melendez in Collabaration with Footlights Center of hartford, CT




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Joel Melendez with R.I.M

Joel Melendez with R.I.M
R.I.M (Rhythmic International Management)





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Heidi and Joel brought an engaging cultural presentation to our library, incorporating the beautiful sounds and textures of their instruments. They heightened our understanding of the purposes behind the music created around the globe.

Leslie Flowers, Harwinton Public Library