Posts tagged ‘Jeff Williams’

Djembe Thanksgiving – Part 5

Djembe Thanksgiving
Part 5:
Drums in Church – Some Concluding Thoughts

Read Part 1: The Drummers and Joe
Read Part 2: Kurzweil Jeff
Read Part 3: Oy! Logistics, Permissions and Switzerland, Oh My!
Read Part 4: A Joyful Chaos!

===============

Kemi Awosile

My friend Kemi Awosile put me in contact with Steve Okwor, an African drummer who organized the drummers for our Thanksgiving Day service at The Mother Church (TMC).  She had sat in and drummed with this group before, and so I asked her how she felt about her experience.

Kemi said, “I am in awe of the communication that occurs when two or more people sit down to drum.  The inner and outer rhythms, the call and response back and forth and the pure joy of working together and off of one another all leave me breathless and spell bound. For me, it is miraculous and magical to get to play with these folks.”
(more…)

February 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm 1 comment

Djembe Thanksgiving – Part 4

Djembe Thanksgiving
Part 4:
A Joyful Chaos!

Read Part 1: The Drummers and Joe
Read Part 2: Kurzweil Jeff
Read Part 3: Oy! Logistics, Permissions and Switzerland, Oh My!
Read Part 5: Drums In Church — Some Concluding Thoughts

One of my most favorite times on Sundays and special service days is my morning walk over to the church.  I love to see the sun’s light starting to illuminate the church and the huge plaza with the reflecting pool that runs right by it.

Morning at The Mother Church (Tony Arruza/Corbis)

There is often a security guard somewhere along the plaza all bundled up that I wave to, and there is such peace, tranquility and beauty. Thanksgiving Day was no exception.

I always think of this phrase from a favorite hymn during my ritual walk:
“A glorious day is dawning and o’re the waking earth,  The heralds of the morning are springing into birth.” 1

As those morning heralds, I like to get into the church good and early while it is still quiet.  On this morning, I needed to get there even a bit earlier to get warmed up.  The drummers were coming!  I had to be ready!
(more…)

January 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm 2 comments

Djembe Thanksgiving – Part 2

Djembe Thanksgiving
Part 2:
Kurzweil Jeff

Read Part 1: The Drummers and Joe
Read Part 3: Oy! Logistics, Permissions and Switzerland, Oh My!
Read Part 4: A Joyful Chaos!
Read Part 5: Drums In Church — Some Concluding Thoughts


percussionworkshop.degraaff-multimedia.nl

percussionworkshop.degraaff-multimedia.nl

At our first rehearsal, Joe Galeota, our drum leader from Berklee College of Music, told us a little about his background – and he set the stage for our music making.

He told all of the drummers, “OK, Jeff and Julia are going to play and sing the arrangement and we are just going to jam.  That way we’ll get to know each other.”  And jam they did.  They all just fell in with Joe.  It was so enthralling, watching and listening to them.  Eventually, Joe settled on different drums and shakers and parts for each one in the group.

Meanwhile, further behind the scenes, I had asked Jeff Williams, our TMC consultant to arrange the ideas that he and I had been working on to merge a beautiful “folky” Inspirational pop song with the simple, joyful Nigerian hymn that I had discovered.  Both songs had musical grooves that worked together so well – and they both possessed a simplicity that spoke to the occasion.  After that rehearsal with Joe, Jeff and I worked on concretizing the ideas for the arrangement, and then Jeff went to work.
(more…)

January 15, 2010 at 11:52 am 2 comments

Djembe Thanksgiving – Part 1

Djembe Thanksgiving
Part 1:
The Drummers and Joe

Read Part 2: Kurzweil Jeff
Read Part 3: Oy! Logistics, Permissions and Switzerland, Oh My!
Read Part 4: A Joyful Chaos!

Read Part 5: Drums In Church — Some Concluding Thoughts

I am grateful for many things, and as I stand facing forward into the New Year, African drumming is one of them!  Looking back over 2009, one of the stand-out moments for me was the Thanksgiving Service in Boston at The First Church of Christ, Scientist, (The Mother Church) where I serve as soloist.

This year, we had the distinct privilege of including some truly soulful folks whose lives are given to healing and caring.  These folks also happen to be mostly African and drummers and they are Christian Science nurses and they shared their musical gifts with the congregation during the Thanksgiving service.

Rehearsal in the Original Edifice of The Mother Church: Doris Olawuwo, Tamie Kanata, Nathan Frederick, Joe Galeota, Dogah Koblavi, Teresa Ambugo, Steve Okwor, Julia Wade

In my inimitable fashion, I will be telling you some stories and sub-stories of this experience – in 5 parts!  It was such a rich, unifying and uplifting endeavor that went way beyond the actual church service (which was wonderful – but more on that later!)  So here’s the story, or actually, here are the stories…

(more…)

January 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm 5 comments

Have I Got A Song For You! – Part 2

song of unityCoverMany of you who regularly search for that next great piece of music to sing in your worship service — You Know Who You Are — have asked about the solo I performed on June 7, 2009. The occasion was the day of Sunday Services preceding the Monday Annual Meeting of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 2009.

As many of you know, this year’s theme for Annual Meeting was “One Accord, One Place.” The Sunday Services definitely supported this theme.

After going down many different roads of exploration, in search of that perfect song, the right idea for the solo just floated to the surface in a very quiet moment. That’s usually how it happens for me.
(more…)

July 15, 2009 at 2:46 am Leave a comment


Welcome to my blog!

Inspiratus by Julia Wade

JW-blog-shot

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 53 other followers

Join my email list!

Follow me on Twitter!

Recent Comments

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers