Drum and Chant Workshops
Jim Donovan, M.Ed.Leadership, is an award winning musician, educator and inspirational trainer whose mission is to empower and connect people. In his work, Donovan offers specialized programs in the US and abroad focused on using rhythm, sound and other holistic techniques as vehicles for personal growth, healing, and the creation of community.
From 1990-2005, Donovan was a founding member of the 90's band Rusted Root who've sold over 3 million records to date. He has appeared on the David Letterman, Conan O'Brien shows and his music with the band is featured major motion pictures such as Ice Age, Twister, Mathilda as well as on network TV shows American Idol and Party of Five. His touring work with Rusted Root provided ample opportunity to share the stage with rock legends such as Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, members of Led Zeppelin, Sting, the Dave Matthews Band and The Allman Brothers among others.Donovan holds a BA in classical music performance from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Saint Francis University where he is also on faculty. Complementing his work with drum & chant, Donovan is also involved in research at Saint Francis on a system he developed called Percussion Intervention Training program that teaches Occupational Therapists, medical professionals, parents and teachers how to use simple percussion techniques as a complementary intervention for children with autism and other disabilities.
Qi Gung, Beginning Middle Eastern Drumming
Billy Woods is well known nationally as a drum instructor and performer, and travels extensively spreading peace through his music and his personal interactions. While his drum teachings, his recordings, and his soulful heart have won him friends and fans across the lands, Billy is also a Qi-Gung practitioner, teaching and leading Qi-Gung classes across the US as Wandering Abbot of Spirit Gate temple (Shen-men Gaun). Billy is on tour this summer spreading the word that “the time of greed is over”, and that our children will need clean air, clean water and clean food to leave a world where peace is possible. We are a product of seven generations of our past and responsible for seven generations of our future.
Introduction to West African Dance, Intro to African Diasporic Dance
Jaye Clark-Nias grew up in her God-mother’s dance studio “Miss Barbara’s School of Dance”, in Buffalo, NY. She began her dance career as a student of Tap, Jazz and Ballet from age 3 and continued to dance several times per week for 15 years until she left home for college. While studying Chemical Engineering at N.C. A&T State University she studied and performed Dunham Technique and Afro-Caribbean and West and North African dance forms as a member of the E. Gwynn Dance Company. Upon graduation she moved to Maryland where she began studies of West African dance forms from Senegal, Mali, Guinea and The Ivory Coast under various notable teachers, such as Assane Conte, Melvin Deal, and eventually began formal study under her mentor in West African Dance – Babacar N’Diaye of the National Ballet du Senegal. Under Babacar’s tutelage she performed with The Return to Goree Dance Company at many venues such as Dance Africa DC, The Kunta Kente Heritage Festival, ArtScape and others. Jaye has also performed in and instructed around the area in other projects such as: Moving Spirit Dance Company, The Bahai National Meeting, Covenant House DC, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute, Reginald F. Lewis Museum and served as founder and co-director of The Metamorphosis Studio in Baltimore Co. MD. When not dancing, Jaye is a full time graduate student at Bowie State University working toward her Doctorate in Computer Science, as well as, being loving mother and wife.
Native American Ceremonial Drum,
Informal Introduction to T’ai Chi Ch’uan
Kurt Griffith/Talking Stone, is a Nativist Pagan, following a Lakota Native American spiritual path. He is a Pipe Carrier, Water Pourer and Ceremonial Singer in that tradition, supporting Native ceremony and Elders and an East Coast Sun Dance. In the neopagan community, he is probably most well known as a sacred drummer and singer, and teacher of sacred song and chant, supporting ritual and ceremony as a sacred bard. From 1994 to 2005 he was the Director of the Four Winds Earth Chorus, an interfaith choral cooperative in NYC, recording two CDs and a unique Single. He is also a lifetime Member of the Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary. In addition, he is a Martial Artist, holding multiple black belt ranks in Shotokan Karate, Japanese Jujutsu, Shaolin Kempo Karate and an Instructor’s certificate in T’ai Chi Ch’uan.
He is a career Creative Professional, working as a Graphic & Web Designer, Illustrator, Art Director and Design Consultant since 1980. In 2014, he recently relocated both home and studio from the NYC area to Berkeley Springs in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, only 30 min. from Four Quarters. He is married to a Deist Wiccan and has two young adult sons.
Dun Dun and Bells are the Foundation
Ed Haggard is a percussionist, drumming teacher and drum circle facilitator who loves to play! He leads a performing percussion ensemble, The Love Drums, based in Nashville, TN. The band started a dozen years ago and have played many venues. When they play, people dance! Teaching is a large part of Haggard’s work. He has taught thousands of drum classes and workshops including ten years at University School of Nashville and other area schools. He is a trained, professional drum circle facilitator and he loves the West African Malinke style. For Ed, it’s all about getting a groove on and dancing with passion.
Games for Kids of All Ages!, Everybody Drum! Family Drum Circle,
Drum, Dragon, Dance!
Artist, Facilitator, Event Designer and Shop Owner has over 20 years experience in Building Community through the Rhythm and Arts. Ken has helped develop communities and events such as First Fridays (a monthly gallery hop), First Night Fredericksburg (founding member), The Drum Circle Facilitators Guild (founding director). Schools (pre through college), Libraries, Banks, Festivals, Church Retreats, Adult Care Facilities, and Corporations have all included Everybody Drum into their events as workshops, icebreakers or keynote presentations. Working with the various communities, he designs successful programs that are fun, enlightening and exciting! Ken has trained with Arthur Hull, Babatunde Olatunji, Mamady Keita, Keith Terry, Kalani and Jaqui MacMillan and is a graduate of HealthRHYTHMS, Village Music Circles, Rhythm Planet and Drum Circle Music.
West African drumming: Technique, Rhythm and Song for all levels
(bring a djembe or dun-un drum, or rent one from the Drumming Up From Poverty booth)
KRISTEN ARANT a.k.a. "the Drumlady" is a percussionist, musician, performer, arranger, teacher and organizer living and working in the Washington, DC region. Originally a classically-trained oboe player with a degree in music, she began her drumming career upon moving to Washington DC in 2000, when she helped initiate the activist drumming ensemble Rhythm Workers Union. Enthralled by the healing and unifying power of the Djembe drum, Kristen began to study West African drumming in 2002. She spent time with masters such as Baile McKnight, Mamady Keita and Tammi Hessen. In 2005 she started a DC non-profit organization, the Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project, which enrolled young women ages 12 and up from across DC, taught them how to play West African drums, and guided them through poetry, song-writing, theatre and dance workshops that culminated in final performances. These performance showcases “wowed” communities across DC as they witnessed young women coming of age via drumming – an innovative Rite of Passage. In 2010, Kristen traveled to Ghana, West Africa via her now husband Michael Kweku Owusu, founder of Drumming Up From Poverty, a Ghana-based NGO that helps street kids find meaningful work through drumming and drum-building. Kristen also leads an intergenerational, all-women’s West African drumming performance troupe called the Bele Bele Rhythm Collective, and teaches a class for adult students at Roda Studio in Takoma Park, MD. Kristen has facilitated hundreds of musical experiences over the past 15 years through her energetic, spontaneous style that combines deep learning with deep “letting go,” connecting with the authentic self and transforming negative emotions into joy and exuberance through drumming and song. More on Kristen: www.drumlady.com
Michael Kweku Owusu
Introduction to Akan Drumming: Kpanlogo
(Kpanlogo or conga drums preferred kpanlogo drums can be rented at the
Drumming Up From Poverty booth. Djembe drums are also ok.)
Michael Kweku Owusu is an artist and craftsman from Accra, Ghana who has spent the last 10 years of his life studying traditional West African drumming, building drums, and working with impoverished children in the Arts Center - a constructed community where some of Ghana's most talented artists and craftspeople live and work. In 2007, Kweku founded Drumming Up From Poverty, whose mission is to unite talented artists and craftspeople to develop and share their artistry while building support for street children. DUFP recently acquired land in the deeply impoverished Ghanaian village of Senya Beraku, and is now working to develop arts-based programming at local schools and orphanages. Kweku supports this mission by teaching the traditional rhythms and songs of his country, selling his hand carved drums, and performing as the percussionist with Mali Griot Cheick Hamala Diabate, and Sierra Leonian bubu king, Ahmed Janka Nabay. After winning a grant from Cultural DC, Kweku and his wife, drumlady Kristen Arant, are excited to open a drum store/studio called Hands On Drums in DC this Fall. More on Kweku: www.drummingupfrompoverty.weebly.com
Drum Making and Repair, Drum Tune-Up,
Beginning Hand Drum, Children's Rhythm Instrument Workshop
Alex Wedmedyk is a facilitator of self-healing and spiritual growth workshops, using the power of rhythm. He is a Master Drummaker, Drummer, Workshop Facilitator, and Craftsman, who relates to a wide range of human experience. He connects with compassion and deep understanding to the struggles and challenges of everyday life with a proactive, simple solution oriented methodology. In his workshop he integrates the powerful methods of shamanism, with ecstatic trance rhythms as well as rhythms for fun-fulfillment. In this process which he calls “Rhythmical Attunement”, Alex uses sound therapy (Cymatics) to help people shed their old patterns of ill health, dissatisfaction and dysfunction and realign their energy patterns to create a new healthy more complete self. “Our inner strengths and outer powers are directly related to how well we move through our lives in rhythm”.
Introduction to Djembe, Intermediate/Advanced Djembe Class,
Power and Speed Djembe, Advanced Djembe Tips and Tricks
Eesa Grayson is an all time favorite at Four Quarters, our best bad boy of the drum. Combining physically powerful drumming, high energy dance and a teaching style that is at once open, joyous and inviting. Personable and Master of the 1000 Watt Smile!
Exciting the Writer!, Kirtan-o-Rama!
Robin is Mantra-Pop! --accessible, lyric-driven alt-folk rock with a spiritual twist. A performing songwriter as well as kirtan chant artist, reviews of her independent singer/songwriter tours have found her compared to the voices of Joan Armatrading and Chrissie Hynde, while her kirtan concerts find new and traditional sounds to evoke stillness, bliss, and a sense of Oneness with All. She has shared the stage with some of the world’s best-loved kirtan singers, including Krishna Das, Wynne Paris, Dave Stringer, and Girish. Her recordings include In Progress, All Six Senses (produced by Scott Mathews who has worked with George Harrison, Elvis Costello, Barbra Streisand, and many more),Live Devotion (her first dedicated wholly to sacred chant), spirit.rocks.sexy, her newest full-length recording, This., (chant and sacred song) and most recent single, “All I Am.”
Mark Cheater (Marrakesh)
Middle Eastern Rhythms 1 & 2
is a recovering stick drummer who stumbled into the world of Middle Eastern percussion more than a decade ago and has been hooked ever since. He has studied dumbek, riqq and frame drum with a variety of master percussionists, including Souhail Kaspar, Karim Nagi, Raquy Danziger, and Tom Teasley. He performs regularly in the Washington-Baltimore area with several bands, including the Fez Tones, Stream and the Blue Dragons, the Saltanah Ensemble, and the Sahara Dance Band. He especially enjoys the synergy and the joy of accompanying and performing with dancers.
Dance for Ritual Space, Contact Improvisation, Movement for Beginners,
Plant Walk, Kids Tribe Dance
Jillian began her studies of dance as a child and was classically trained in Russian Ballet at Bossov Ballet Theater in Maine. Moving to Pennsylvania for college she received a dance minor at Muhlenberg College and began teaching ballet and jazz to 6-8 year olds in Maryland. Since then she has continued to teach young children creative movement, focusing on 2-5 year olds, supporting their growth and creativity. Jillian also has continued both performance and social dance having previously been the Assistant Director of Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble and now teaches blues dance at Emergence Blues in Washington, DC. Jillian focuses on using your body to express both your own experiences and the experience of the music in the variety of different dance forms she shares with others. Jillian is also the owner/operator of The Dancing Herbalist so stop by her booth to learn more.
Hooping 101, Class 1 & 2
Sarah discovered the magic of hoop dance in 2008 and has been a devoted "hooper" ever since! She likens this creative movement to a spiritual practice, finding deep peace and inner stillness all while moving within the hoop. She teaches hoop dance; performs with fire hoop, LED hoop and fire fans, and creates and sells custom hoops. You can find Sarah on Facebook at Jupiterhoops.
Using Touch and Breath to Connect With Your Partner, Feeding the Fire,
Party Starter, and Kundalini Yoga
Shannon has been traveling to spiritual festivals for 13 years as a vendor, a volunteer, and as a teacher and facilitator. She started practicing Kundalini Yoga 6 years ago and recently completed her 9 months of training to become an IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher. When not at festivals, she is working toward her degree in Social Work, working, and spending time with her beloved daughter, Valhalla.
Sweat Lodge at Buffalo Island
Sweat Lodge Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10-5pm
Children's and Family Sweat Lodge, Saturday 10:30am
Buffalo Island Sweat Lodge site is a beautiful and sacred place on the land at Four Quarters and we invite you to come by to pray and sweat with us! The sacred fires will be continuously burning, and at any time you are welcome to come meditate, visit the Tipi, chill out, talk with us, and reconnect in this area. We will be holding many sweat lodges throughout the event, during the day 10 AM to 5 PM. Each lodge has four rounds, and you may experience one, multiple rounds, or all four. Each round can last anywhere from a half hour to over an hour. We will come out in between each round and take a break. Our ceremonies facilitate personal and collective inner cleansing and healing. They are open to all ages. Bring a towel, drinking vessel and whatever you want to wear or not wear.
Discover Your Dance- Flow Movement,
Introduction to American Tribal Style (ATS) Bellydance
Tonya Shomette has studied dance since the age of 4 and has taught others for longer than she'll admit. She is also a classically trained pianist and musician. She has an extensive resume of competition, performance, and choreography in these disciplines, including theater. She is currently is semi-retired while creatively spending her days working on new projects in the arts. She continues to teach classical piano and maintains an active involvement in the study and practice of dance as a form of self-expression, stress reduction, and folk tradition. Her current passions include exploring American Tribal Style Bellydance, working on musical compositions, and writing.
The Universal Temple of Spirits
Spirits of Fun Ceremony
Universal Temple of Spirits (UToS) with Firesong (Eshu Akoni) is a priestess and Pathway initiate at the Universal Temple of Spirits, a Global Spirits pantheistic trance possession temple. Called the "human iPod", she is a traditional song mistress as well and a professional teacher, artist, and root worker and hedge witch. Firesong conducts chant sessions, Global Spirits services, women's rituals, and pours for the Starry Night Sweat Circle. She has recorded several teaching CDs of traditional chants and is the author of Global Spirits: Philosophies and Practices.
Spirits of Fun- The Universal Temple of Spirits hosts a possession-based celebratory ritual which welcomes all Spirits from around the Globe in love. Rituals are theme-based rather than pantheon-based and incorporate what we have in common as humans: shared food, dance, song, drumming, art, and possession trance.
Previous Years Presenters
Kevin and Cindy Ryan
have been Middle Eastern dancers and drummers for the last decade and a half. Twenty years ago at the first Drum & Splash, they turned up with these little dumbek whatjamacallits. A couple of hours later, they were asked “How _do_ you get that many sounds out of that tiny thing?!” They’ve been coming back ever since... Kevin and Cindy drum, dance, and teach in an assortment of venues, including several years in their group Celtistan. Cindy is also a principle dancer in the award winning Silk Road Dance company. And in the meantime, they drum on any nearby surface that doesn’t object too loudly, to the dismay of their cats.
Amara of The Moon
Over a decade ago, I took my first belly dance class for exercise. Little did I know at the time the impact that studying and performing this wonderful and much misunderstood dance form would have on my life. As a means of creative self-expression, it has brought me benefits beyond what I could have imagined. Special areas of interest include North African dance (Guedra, Moroccan Shikkat, Algerian Ouled Nail, and Tunisian), Turkish Roma and Oryantal dance, and Central Asian dance. Several years ago, as a result of my dance studies, I became interested in drumming. My first drum was the dumbek, which I enjoy playing in drum and drum/dance circles. Later, I became attracted to the resonance and richness of sound of the tar and riqq and am currently studying these instruments, most recently with Layne Redmond. In addition to dancing and drumming, I also enjoy traveling and have been to Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt.
is a 1996 graduate of the Hartt School of Music under the direction of Ben Toth. Since graduating he has used drumming in a variety of settings including: Therapeutic intervention programs, workshops, concerts, as a dance accompanist, and private teacher. In addition, Jason’s drumming can be found on the 2004 Wammie award winning album “Elements” by Verlette Simon and Michael Willis, 2004 album “Hard Swimmin’ Fish” (blues band), and is on upcoming albums by Wammie award winning singer/songwriter Rachel Cross, and Saxophonist Dave Schumacher. Jason currently studies Afro-Cuban drumming with master percussionist Sam Turner.
has been a self-taught hooper for a year and a half. Despite having no background training in dance, she has thrown herself into this form of creative movement with passion and intensity. She was nominated for "Best New Hooper of the Year" in 2007 by the international online hooping community at www.Hooping.org. Marlenah seeks to bring joy and beauty to the lives of those around her by teaching hoopdance to men and women of all ages and fitness levels. She enjoys performing with her LED and fire hoops at clubs, festivals, and events throughout the Philadelphia area.
Marlenah Barker: Hoopdance Performance and Instruction