Drum and Banjo: African Roots/American Branches

02/08/2019 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm
John Jacobs Niles Gallery
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Joan Brannon & Randy Wilson
Intended Audience: 
Type of Event (for grouping events):

Together with the Niles Center, the Department of African American & Africana Studies, and the Lexington Old Time Music Gathering, the Appalachian Center will host a musical event "Drum and Banjo: African Roots/American Branches" with Joan Brannon and Randy Wilson at the John Jacobs Niles Gallery in the UK Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 3:30PM.  Joan Brannon and Randy Wilson will perform on drum and banjo taking you on a journey from Africa to Appalachia with rhythm, songs and stories linking our past, tunes and beats that have bound us together on this continent, despite all the forces that would drive us apart.

As a percussionist and teacher, Joan Brannon founded the drumming collectives, Sisters of the Sacred Drum and the Sacred Drum Ensemble and has played percussion instruments for the past 20 years. She teaches drumming empowerment classes for youth, enrichment circles for women and facilitates workshops in a variety of settings to bring the power of percussion into community. Joan respects the drum as a sacred instrument that utilizes rhythms for celebration and as a tool for communication, empowerment and community building. She has performed and drummed throughout the US and in Guinea, West Africa.

Randy Wilson's remarkable Appalachian banjo performance marries the excitement of musical virtuosity with the informed perspective of cultural context. He traces the entire sweep of the banjo from the African grasslands to Southern plantations to the mountains of East Kentucky in a way that makes history sparkle with vitality. Jean Ritchie once called Randy "a mountain Pied Piper for kids one to ninety nine." Randy is a very special performer, whose warmth of personality reaches out to the very heart and soul of any audience.