Music That Moves You
Ubaka Hill is a native New Yorker, percussionist, vocalist, songwriter, poet, artist and teacher who has a passionate vision to inspire personal joy and positive social change for the health and well being of all.
Ubaka has been an inspiration to many people over the 25 years of her professional career as a performer, teacher and cultural worker, throughout the United States and in various international communities. She is also recognized as a motivational speaker, visionary and mentor.
She is the Founder/Director of the Drumsong Institute Museum Archive and Library of Women’s Drumming Traditions of North America located in Catskill, NY. She is the Founder and Musical Director of both “ShapeShifters”– a professional performance ensemble and the Drumsong Orchestra – a national, multi-cultural, diverse ensemble of mostly female drummers/percussionists of all ages, experience and skill levels.
Ubaka is a teacher who loves to teach, making learning the art of drumming accessible to all who want to explore the drums’ voices. Ubaka has the ability to integrate all skill levels and various drums into collectively creating exciting, healing and rejuvenating music. Drumsong The Art and Spirit of Drumming workshops have also included deaf/hard-of-hearing women and at-risk youth.
She has been called a “midwife of drummers". Her specific focus as a teacher is to encourage and motivate. She creates forums to re-integrate women and girls into varied experiences of individual and community drumming as tradition and myth making: to reconnect with ancient female-centered wisdom and drumming traditions using sound as a tool for personal transformation, healing and celebration; to re-activate our relationship to pulse and community music making; to recognize ourselves as active participants on the continuum of folkloric drumming music; to foster positive public recognition, awareness and appreciation of evolving women’s drumming culture of North America. Ubaka is also the co-founder and co-producer of the annual Catskill Women's World Drum & Percussion Happen'n.
Ubaka’s musical style does not fit into a singular form but embraces many styles to create authentic, melodic and rhythmic musical forms from sacred to secular, ancient to contemporary; music that moves and reflects our expanding traditions, beliefs and changing times; music of the "new edge". Ubaka’s instruments include the Djembe, Ube, Conga and Ashiko drums, didgeridoo, singing bowl, Udu, small percussion, various instruments of Africa, Latina America, the Middle East, and vocals in song and spoken word. Her third recording “Beyond the Wind” was released in the summer of 2006 on Ubaka’s own label, Splevine Music Network (splendid + devine). She has 2 CDs available on the Ladyslipper label “Shapeshifters” and “Dance The Spiral Dance”.
As a performer, Ubaka fills any size venue with compassionate, engaging, exciting, moving, contagious enthusiasm in both solo and ensemble performance. Ubaka’s rhythmic and lyrical ideas are not only inspired by her own personal stories but the stories of many people. From street gatherings to the bedside of the sick, in theater productions and coffeehouses, concert halls, campuses and conferences, in healing circles and ceremonies, with children and elders, Ubaka shares her resonating voice and the voice of the drum for healing and joyful community.
Ubaka’s performances and workshops leave you feeling
renewed, energized and possible!
Ubaka’s performance career has always included creative collaborations with both professional and new musicians of her community. “ShapeShifters” is her multi-cultural ensemble that ranges from three or more women musicians. Each woman brings her own unique musical/rhythmic expression from the essence of her soul-self to create a musical story that reflects back to the audience the power and joy of community and music as healing. The instrumental voices they bring are harp, djembe and ashiko drums, shekere, bass, acoustic guitar, rattles, conga drums, piano, cello, accordion, bells, gongs and a variety of other multi-cultural percussive instruments as well as vocal arrangements.
Ubaka has been motivated to realize her life vision by many historical and contemporary visionaries, artists, musicians and social activists. She is inspired by the life and work of Kay Gardner, Oprah Winfrey, Mosa Mimi Baczewska, Maria Gimbutas, Baba Olatunji, Hugh Prather, Lena Horn, Princess Diana, Sarah Vaughn, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Vicki Noble, Alice Walker, Lisa Vogel, Layne Redmond, Abby Lincoln, Martin Luther King, John Coltrane, Charlie Bird Parker, Sun Bear, Sun Ra, Pharaoh Sanders, Jayne Cortez, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Mother Theresa, Daoud Williams, Edwina Lee Tyler, Karen Kane and the majestic beauty of our natural Earth and all of her creatures.
For Drumsong Workshops, Concerts and Interviews Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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