“Bonga is a world-class performing artist whose knowledge and dedication to drumming is an inspiration…His leadership opens hearts, minds, and talents that his students didn’t realize they possess.” – Jonathan Mann, Director of Education, Westchester Arts Council
Master Haitian percussionist, Gaston “Bonga” Jean-Baptiste, leads Bonga and The Vodou Drums of Haiti, a collective that presents traditional Haitian roots music, mizik rasin. This versatile ensemble features skilled ceremonial drummers, singers and dancers rooted in the diverse musical tradition of Haiti.
Laced between vodou rhythms and traditional chants are instruments such as the mbira, didgeridoo, and conch. Vodou Drums of Haiti are also presented in an innovative jazz format featuring drum, cello, reeds, brass, balafon and vocals centered on mesmerizing rhythms and pulsating bass grooves. Audiences will experience an extraordinary historical, cultural, and spiritual journey that remains unseen in today’s musical landscape. With an extensive repertoire of Afro-Haitian rhythms, kreyol songs and regional dances, music of The Vodou Drums traverses the plains, mountains and coasts, conjuring images of Haiti’s spirit, beauty and way of life.