Creative Expressions: Musical Roots from Africa to America - The Journey of Two Families - August 6, 2020
Creative Expressions: Musical Roots from Africa to America - The Journey of Two Families
Thursday, August 6, 2020
The SUNY Empire community has a rich and varied artist community. Join us each week to meet our faculty, staff, student, and alumni artists to learn a little about their creative expressions, their process, and them. Our artists hold a Q&A session following their presentations/performances. Creative Expressions happen every Thursday at 5pm in Zoom at this link.
On Thursday, August 6th along with their families, alumnae/current students, Annalee Jackofsky and Amma Oloriwaa! will discuss their familial connections with American Roots and Afro-Cuban music, sharing the stage with their families. They will perform their music live and through pre-recorded video.
Note: If you missed our previous sessions or cannot make it this week, all of the sessions are recorded. Check them out at this link, or check out previous sessions and plans for future sessions on the Creative Expressions website
Weekly Host: Lisa D’Adamo-Weinstein
Presenters' Full Bios:
The Homegrown String Band
Annalee Jackofsky (Class of ’08) is also a current SUNY Empire State college student and is the mandolin player in The Homegrown String Band. Growing up as a homeschooled Quaker in a house with no television during the 1990s, she was taught to play an instrument by her father as a form of entertainment. Soon the family formed a band and began to tour the country. Over the past 23 years, Annalee and her family have recorded 6 CDs and are continuing the tradition of families playing music together. Annalee is an Empire State alumna and also a current student. When not playing music, Annalee works at her local library and teaches yoga classes.
Rick and Georgianne Jackofsky have been making beautiful music together since their high school sweetheart days. They have also been the "Grown" portion of their family band, The Homegrown String Band™, since 1997. Now, as their daughters Erica and Annalee spend more and more time away from home, the intrepid couple finds themselves in a position to explore new musical directions. The result of these sonic adventures is Homegrown Two; a duo creating new music while exploring the oral traditions of the 19th and 20th century vernacular music that was enjoyed everywhere from posh Victorian parlors to rough and rowdy labor camps across the rural American countryside. A Homegrown Two™ performance celebrates the spirit of songcatchers and composers from Francis Child and Stephen Foster to Harry Smith and Bob Dylan. Their repertoire of traditional and original material is performed using a variety of acoustic instruments including guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer, doumbek, jaw harp, and harmonica.
Find out more about Annalee and her family’s creative works at:
The Kiire Wellness Family
Amma Oloriwaa! (Class of '20) is also a current SUNY Empire State College student and has brought the Kiire Wellness Family to Creative Expressions. The Kiire Wellness Family is an ensemble of Apons (Afro-Cuban traditional religious ceremonial singers) with over 37 years of singing to Orisha (African Deities) around the world. Although they have sung together for decades, in response to the Covid19 pandemic, the genius of Apon and musician Oludare Bernard created the Family’s present format allowing them to continue serving the community.
The members, each stars in their own right are,
Oloriwaa! who has trained and worked with many Cuban and African American greats in many traditions. A composer of original English Orisha songs, she has also performed and recorded traditional Orisha music on Emilio Baretto's Santisimo, Milton Cardona's Bembe, Roman Diaz’s Lo Da Fun Bata and others. https://youtu.be/FLjtO_EpJWg
Amma Whatt recognized by the New York Times for her “…silk-infused vocals…” Songwriter, vocalist, and Brooklyn, NY native, her unique musical talents have taken her all over the globe. She was recently featured as lyricist and vocalist on the Grammy-nominated jazz album “Nate Smith + KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere”, and continues to work as a sought-after songwriter, producer, and recording artist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOuXlP0MSRU
Oludare Bernard a master Apon, percussionist, dancer, and teacher. He is initiated to Anya, a sacred society of religious drummers. Oludaré is a highly sought after teacher and performer having honed his skills in NY and Cuba. He is the founder of Kiire Wellness a Lukumi, Orisha, Spiritual, Breathing, Music, Dance, philosophy dedicated to the healing of African descendants in the diaspora, He has recently published his first Book : BREATHING WITH ORISA. https://www.facebook.com/KiireWellness/videos/263465654746079/
The Kiire Wellness Family is presently working on Orisa centered offerings of various kinds including modern Orisa music as sampled above and a series of meditation music due for release later this year.