CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Updates from Ashe! Productions - Gary King Jr festival

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

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Updates from Ashe! Productions - Gary King Jr festival

Hey all, its been a while.

Just moved to Vallejo, a nice little pad with a wood shop and studio!! FAT!!

Plenty of space to have Rumbas - 30 min away from all the heavy players in Oakland.

Much has happened receintly, mostly regarding shows and festivals i will be producing this year.

Ashe! Productions is going off. We are doing a music festival in Sept. '08 for violence prevention in Oakland, in support of the Gary King Jr. movement, several folkloric shows/workshops etc. and stepping up the gig finding service we offer.

Re the first annual Gary King Jr. Festival for Non Violence... it was a great success, given the weeks time to pull it together.

We were so blessed to have Tito Garcia, Damian de Jesus, David Fraiser, Taji Maalik play bata - a cerimonial blessing for Gary King Jr. - in front of his alter.. where the young man died... very nice for Gary Sr. to have this done in his sons honor.

We then had a fat rumba with Yaya, Secu and Yagbe singing, David, Damian, Ruskin and myself on the drums, David on cata, Irish Rick on bajo cajon... very fun.

There was blues, hip hop, poetry, speaches etc... very nice project.

After the performance Yagbe complemented me on the organization of it... one of the first complements ive ever earned from the man! Very nice to hear.

Pics are from the first event, put together in a rush, but some real heavy players showed and kicked off the annual event with a thick-ass bang.

Pics are of Gary Sr. and me, Gary's mural, the incredibly talented and beautiful Zooz dance company - Jessica Mckee and Jessica Swanson, Damian De Jesus -the chosen one, the legendary Yaya Maldinado, and the heaviest of players around - David Fraiser (with newly gifted cata in hand ;)

Our fearless band leader, Tito Garcia performed as well. Master Yagbe Oline and grand master C.K. Ladzekpo were in attendance to support Gary Sr.

Video is of the humble beginnings of the festival - Gary's family performing.

This will be a big deal this next year, and as Obatala will have it, it will be a big annual ethnic music and dance festival.

This is how communities change, not by feeding the fire by hiring policemen and women returning from the war with little training in nonviolence, for example.

Im planning on making the measure Y meeting.. there is much money flowing to the nonviolent cause. Lets see if we can put some of it to good use and give this community some return on their investment in measure Y.

We are going to affect change in this community, our community, no matter how long it takes. Im not moving to another country... are you? The time is over for just looking out for ones own friends and family. Time to understand the value and strengthen the impact of community support. I hope to do Martin Luther King proud and help the community rise up from this situation.

Im going to call on some of the most incredible musicians and dancers from several traditions - Afro-Cuban, African, Latin, Middle eastern, Brazilian, and hopefully Celtic, Balinese, Chinese traditions as well.

We are looking into a venue, and the exact date, so keep checking for updates for this super fat project.

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