Roots Revival Harvest features Vusi Baba Shibambo and AZ Dunun Ensemble

Arizona Dunun 
Ensemble

Arizona Dunun Ensemble

Experience the essence of old Africa in an all-new stage production with South African recording artist Vusi Baba Shibambo and the Arizona Dunun Ensemble celebrating the songs, stories and traditional dances honoring the harvest season and life in the village.

The event is at the Sedona Creative Life Center, 333 Schnebly Hill Road, on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 at the door.

Be part of a simpler time when the community came together in festivities rejoicing in the abundance of food and water - a product of their hard work and cooperative spirit throughout the year.

Central to the music of the harvest is the djembe, a goblet-shaped drum made from a hollowed out tree trunk and covered with a shaved goat skin head. According to Master drummer Mamady Keita, whose traditional rhythmic compositions are central to the music of the Arizona Dunun Ensemble, the djembe is a universal instrument that expresses joy, provokes friendship and love, and also supports and encourages the workers in the fields at harvest time. The drum would give the beat for a song. Sung together by the workers in the field, these songs and drum rhythms would help eliminate fatigue and make the work in the hot sun bearable.

The program for the Roots Revival Harvest Show have been carefully designed by Shibambo and Bob Wachunas, the leader of the Arizona Dunun Ensemble, to offer the audience actual rhythms played for this time of year allowing for a glimpse into life in an African village. Many of these rhythms also have traditional dances that will be performed by members of the ensemble. With the shifting political, economic and social landscape in many African countries, preserving these cultural roots is of prime importance to all participants in the Roots Revival Harvest Show.

Vusi Baba Shimbabo grew up in South Africa and at the age of 6 returned to his rural Zulu village four hours north of Johannesburg. There at this young age he learned the techniques of communal African farming, growing corn, sunflowers, beans, sugar cane, barley, pumpkins, and squash.

He also learned to herd cattle, goats and sheep from the men in the village, hunt impalas, and fetch water and wood.

At the age of 8, his mother encouraged Shibambo to honor his legacy as the "Keeper of the Hides and the Maker of the Drums" in the village and preserve the rhythmic roots of the Zulu culture through drumming.

She stated that drumming was a sacred ritual with a higher purpose. The drums were considered medicine and opened the shamanic worlds. Today Shibambo creatively blends age-old teachings of the elders of long-ago Africa with a reflection of his personal life through his music.

The Arizona Dunun Ensemble is a local Verde Valley West African drumming and dance troupe who strive to share this traditional music with others as accurately and skillfully as possible and have a lot of fun making a big, joyful sound in the process.

Come be a part of the Roots Revival Harvest Show and celebrate life's rhythms at their fullest.

For further information please call Connie at 928-282-3259 or Vusi at 707-327-8466.

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