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Mama Africa! A Benefit for Born to Drum Women’s Drum Camp featuring Afia Walking Tree with Ouida Lewis; Adwoa Kudoto with Sena Kugbega; Mabiba Baegne with Nikki Campbell; and Sistahs of the Drum

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 advance / $25 day of performance


Ashkenaz and Women Drummers International celebrate Women’s History Month with our March series of special concerts and workshops, the Maestra Series, featuring women musicians, dancers and poets from around the world. The nights are filled with inspired culture, singing, dancing, drumming, performers in new groupings, once-only collaborations, and reunions of pioneering women musicians.

Mama Africa! Presents an amazing array of African women drummers and musicians separately and together in this benefit for Born to Drum Women’s Drum Camp, a summer program featuring many of tonight’s artists. The 11th annual Born to Drum is a four-day weekend (July 20-23) at Anthony Chabot Regional Park’s Bort Meadow, near Hayward. The program features camping, drum workshops, drum circles, songs, dance, fireside concerts, ecology workshops, yoga and movement, poetry, shared meals and camaraderie. Attendees can do the day camp, or bring camping gear and stay for the whole event.

Afia Walking Tree
Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Afia is a masterful percussionist, visionary facilitator, and outstanding performer, singer-songwriter, and recording artist who builds bridges across multiethnic intergenerational communities. African Diaspora drumming, singing, dancing, and honoring one’s lineages are tools Afia utilizes to cultivate nu Real pathways into envisioning our Destinies.

Afia has a national and international legacy that includes touring with the acclaimed Les Amazones, Women Master Drummers of Guinea; producing drum-centered healing retreats in the U.S., Guinea, and Jamaica; and co-producing Bay Area Rising rituals focused on ending violence against women and girls. Afia’s passion for earth stewardship spans permaculture, nutrition, and local food sovereignty, which she shares as part of her overall curriculum along with drumming at drum camps, schools, colleges, and universities internationally.

Ouida Lewis
An educator and percussionist/hand drummer, Ouida is a former lecturer at Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts. She teaches traditional rhythms of her island home Jamaica, the original sound of reggae, Afro-Cuban, West African djembe and dununs. She is also a tap dancer and personal trainer. Ouida teaches both children and adults in an effort to pass on knowledge of the evolution of Jamaican music. Ouida says, “This is important to me as I realize that people are becoming less aware of the origins of our music and the rich culture it comes from, thus losing a sense of self. It’s a longtime dream of mine to share Jamaican traditional rhythms outside of Jamaica.”

Adwoa Kudoto
Adwoa is from Cape Coast, Ghana (West Africa). When she was growing up, drumming was considered a taboo for women. Adwoa has been able to break down these barriers and misconceptions surrounding women and drumming arts. In 1999 she was recognized and awarded the title as the Only Versatile Female Master Drummer in Ghana. Adwoa is very passionate about drumming and teaching and has traveled to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the U.S. sharing her culture. Adwoa embraces everyone on different levels of drum experience. She loves to teach and believes drumming is healing and also brings us all together in love. Adwoa has also dedicated her life to helping orphaned young boys and girls by teaching and performing with them at birthday parties, weddings, graduations, and many other community events. Her celebrated group, Nyame Tsease African Traditionals, travels both locally and abroad to teach and perform.

Sena Kugbega
Daughter of Adwoa Kudoto, Sena has been teaching drum and dance since she was 13 years old. As a young girl growing up, she always knew what she wanted to do. Sena has traveled extensively with her award-winning mother to teach and perform, with U.S. appearances including Washington, New York, Atlanta, and California. Growing up, Sena was always willing to learn: learning how to have fun drumming and dancing. Drumming and dancing has always been part of her life and culture and she does it with enthusiasm and joy!

Mabiba Baegne
Mabiba is an internationally acclaimed teacher, drummer, and choreographer of traditional and contemporary African dance. Mabiba was born in Brazzaville, Congo, and initiated into dancing by her grandparents at the age of eight.

Mabiba is also an inspiring drummer. In addition to her Congolese dancing, for many years she studied West African Dunun drumming with master drummer Famoudou Konate in Guinea, and she was the first woman to teach this form in the U.S. Mabiba is also an acclaimed singer and has toured and recorded with Salif Keita, master drummer Mamady Keita, and Samba Ngo.

Nakeiltha “Nikki” Campbell
Nikki is an extraordinary percussionist, educator, and performing artist who travels promoting empowerment through celebration of African cultural heritage. Born in Colón, province of Panamá, and raised in Los Angeles, since her early 20s Nikki found that drumming reconnected her with her West African, Caribbean, and Panamanian roots. Drumming has been her vehicle to engage with and build community. Her persistence, tenacity, and creativity gained her entry into the music community. Recording credits include collaborations with Kahlil Cummings, Aloe Blacc, The Rebirth, and Kendrick Lamar. She’s toured with Les Amazones of Guinea, Viver Brasil, and The Rebirth and performed with Stevie Wonder, Miguel Atwood Ensemble, Candi Sosa, Will I AM, Rihanna, Janelle Monae, and Shakira.

Sistahs of the Drum
Sistahs of the Drum are students and teachers, listeners and communicators, consumers and creators, protectors and nurturers, friends and lovers. They drum from the heart, for the heart, to the heart, and with their heart. Absorbing the teachings of West African rhythms, songs and dances, Sistahs of the Drum respectfully represent the essence of their traditional African roots in harmony with their African-American cultural rearing. The resulting sound is from somewhere deep within, playing through them and resonating with you.
Current members: Mar Stevens, Sandy Mills, Charlene Gumbs, Shawn Nealy-Oparah, La Tanya Carmical, Mya Cross, and Miakoda Taylor

Eventbrite - Mama Africa Concert