Trinidad: Orisha Drum, Song, and Dance

The Graduate Center Elebash Hall
365 Fifth Avenue
(bet. 34th and 35th Streets)
Trains: B,D,F,M to 34th St.; 6 to 33rd St.
Tickets $12; $10 for Graduate Center Members and Students (contact 212-817-8215 for discount information)

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The Artist

In the mid-1800s indentured West African Yoruba were brought to Trinidad bringing with them deities known as orishas, as well as drums, songs, and dances which they combined with Catholic and Protestant Christian beliefs and practices. Trinidad's Orisha is similar to Santeria in Cuba and Candomble in Brazil but also has unique features. This concert features a typical Orisha religious service and includes spiritual Baptist hymns, plaintive prayers, lively songs for all the spirits, and closes with a somber song of thanks. All of the songs are sung in Yoruba, except for the opening hymns sung in English. Leading the ensemble of musicians and dancers will be master drummer and drum builder Earl Noel, who has been playing for over forty years in Trinidad and Brooklyn. This is a City of the World concert, produced by the The Graduate Center's Ethnomusicology Program.