The Brown University World Music Ensemble, lead by Kwaku Kwaakye “Martin” Obeng, performs a concert with special guest, vibraphonist Jay Hoggard. This event is free and open to the public.
About Guest Artist, Jay Hoggard
Vibraphonist and composer Jay Hoggard’s music has touched the hearts and souls of listeners around Planet Earth for 40 years. Jay Hoggard has long ranked with the greatest vibraphone innovators. Jay’s music is positive, spiritual, uplifting, and happy. He masterfully draws on traditional and contemporary musical vocabulary to develop new directions for the vibraphone. Jay seamlessly blends jazz and gospel roots with African marimba rhythms. His performance repertoire represents the three B’s of the jazz tradition (Blues, Bop, Ballads) with original innovations.
Hoggard has performed in special concert collaborations with vibraphone masters Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Tito Puente and Bobby Hutcherson. He has recorded and toured with creative artists such as Kenny Burrell, Dr. Billy Taylor, Max Roach, James Newton, Hilton Ruiz, Oliver Lake, Bennie Maupin, Sam Rivers, Anthony Braxton, Jorge Dalto, Terumasa Hino, Dwight Andrews, Geri Allen, Anthony Davis, Henry Threadgill, Vishnu Wood, Chico Freeman, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sherry Winston, Ahmed Abdullah, and was a guest artist with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band. Hoggard has been honored and commissioned as a composer in various contexts. He has recorded 22 CD’s as a leader and over 50 as a collaborator.
Jay Hoggard is a tenured Professor of Music at his alma mater, Wesleyan University. For over 25 years, he has been the director of the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra and has taught and mentored thousands of students.
The World Music Ensemble
Semi Bou Ghanem
Alexandra Koh - Bell
The Brown University World Music Ensemble focuses on global percussive and song traditions, especially those of the African diaspora. Here western instrumentalists fuse with traditional musicians from every culture: bongo, gyil, ukulele, tabla, etc. The students in the Ensemble grow and develop their musical skills by learning new techniques on their own instrument, exploring a range of repertoire representing genres such as highlife, reggae, salsa, afrobeat, Afro-jazz, and global fusions.
The Director, Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng
Kwaku Kwaakye (Martin) Obeng has worked with the ensemble since its start in Spring 2013. He is a well-renowned drummer, composer, dancer, and educator originally from Ghana who has worked internationally for the past 30 years. He began drumming at the age of five, and by seventeen he was appointed Royal Court Drummer to the high chief of the Aburi-Akuapim region of the Eastern Region of Ghana. He was a member of Ghana’s National Arts Council Folkloric Company. He has continued to perform traditional music of West Africa, in addition to highlife, jazz, Latin music, reggae, and different fusions of these styles. Obeng teaches at Brown University, and has shared the stage with such luminaries as Max Roach, Roy Hargrove, Randy Weston, Anthony Braxton, Gideon Alorwoyie, and Obo Addy. His most recent recording titled Africa’s Moving Forward is available online at www.kwakukwaakyeobeng.bandcamp.com. To hear more of his music, and read about his work, please visit his website at www.kwakukwaakyeobeng.org, and follow him on facebook at www.facebook.com/KwakuKwaakyeObeng/.