In addition to (or as an alternative to) bringing the band for a performance, Funkadesi offers various interactive workshops that combine music, dance, and cultural expression. The members of Funkadesi are multi-faceted musical and cultural educators. You will also be able to send your child to day-camps and away-camps at select times of year when members of the band are featured as part of camp curricula that combine learning world music with multiculturalism, social justice, and having fun throughout!
DRUMS FROM AROUND THE WORLD:
AN INDO-AFRO-CARIBBEAN CONNECTION
This an interactive workshop led by Funkadesi drummers Maninder Singh, Kwame Steve Cobb, and Carlos Antonio Cornier. The lecture/demonstration format highlights North Indian drumming; Latin/Caribbean rhythmic traditions; and African rhythmic traditions. The workshop then involves having the audience chant the rhythms of each rhythmic tradition, thus creating the Indo-Afro-Caribbean connection, climaxing with a flurry of improvisation by the drummers on top of the audience’s chant.
Bhangra Dance Instruction is led by Funkadesi’s Maninder Singh and Inder Paul Singh, occasionally featuring guest instructors. This workshop spans traditional and modern bhangra and explains the meaning and origins of bhangra.
WEST INDIAN DANCE INSTRUCTION
Led by Funkadesi’s Jamaican lead vocalist, Valroy Dawkins, who is also the principal dancer for the West Indian Folk Dance Company, this workshop integrates a physical fitness component to the workshop. Valroy also demonstrates the continuum of West Indian and East Indian dance traditions. Valroy is joined by the live drums of Maninder Singh, Kwame Steve Cobb, and Carlos Antonio Cornier.
AFROBICS or REGGAEROBICS
A truly cultural dance workout. Led by Funkadesi’s Jamaican lead vocalist, Valroy Dawkins, this workshop emphasizes the physical fitness component of African and Caribbean dance. Valroy is joined in this workshop by the live drums of Maninder Singh, Kwame Steve Cobb, and Carlos Antonio Cornier.
The West African and African-American Drum and Dance Ensemble (Artistic Director: Nahgeree Sutton) provides performance (anywhere from 1-10 dancers and 1-8 drummers) as well as drum and dance workshops. Minianka has made appearances with Funkadesi at select performances (e.g., House of Blues), adding an unexpected and mesmerizing addition to the band’s live shows.
Another forum provided by members of Funkadesi, allowing participants at all levels of musical experience (including no experience!) participate in an interactive “hands-on” workshop through various musical formats (blues, funk, Indian classical, hip-hop, reggae, etc.).
INTERACTIVE YOUTH WORKSHOPS
Flexible depending on the age group, but can involve audience participation, live drumming, electronic sampling, etc.
Various band members can speak on topics ranging from:
•Pursuing Artistic Careers Amongst South Asians
•Intercultural Collaboration, Race Relations, and the Role of Music
•Gender Issues in the Music Industry: Women Musicians’ Perspectives
(or other ideas to be explored between the artists and your institution)