SONGS OF THE TALKING DRUM is a spirited journey through a multicultural musical and theatrical landscape.
CBS recording artists Tony Vacca and Tim Moran are two jazz musicians who combine the polyrhythmic sounds of the West African balafon and talking drum with saxophone and flute, linking contemporary jazz with its African roots. Drawing on African-American oral storytelling tradition, playwright and performance artist Andrea Hairston blends dramatic monologue, movement, and music to create a “jazz theater.” In several performance pieces, accompanied by Vacca and Moran, she portrays the plight of a Salvadoran refugee, a woman living under apartheid in South Africa, and her own fears of nuclear holocaust.
Through behind-the-scenes rehearsals, studio recording sessions, and on-stage performances, the documentary depicts the cross-cultural fusion of art forms and the creation of vivid sound tapestries. In interviews and workshops held for children, these innovative artists discuss their own development and the influence of African cultures on American culture today.
As a portrait of the artistic process at work, SONGS OF THE TALKING DRUM is a powerful celebration of the creative diversity of the human spirit.
"SONGS OF THE TALKING DRUM shows the unique synergy of music and storytelling. Taking the audience on an innovative musical voyage, the artists weave an intricate story that reaches the heart and mind of the listener. Their performances inspire audiences to participate in the magic of making music by sharing techniques for creating rhythm and telling stories.
"SONGS OF THE TALKING DRUM provides an educator with insight for involving students in a multicultural experience that emphasizes music and theater. The video presents ideas for a multitude of artistic modalities: singing, rhythmic clapping, expressive body movement, and storytelling. Music and theater in this context can become a way of breaking down the ethnic barriers among today’s youth."
"SONGS OF THE TALKING DRUM is a powerful and provocative musical and theatrical testimony to jazz and its African roots. The video provides a rich opportunity to strengthen the awareness of multicultural education through the arts."
RECOMMENDED SUBJECT AREAS
Music • Jazz • Percussion • World Music • African Music and Culture • Theater • Dance Theater • Musical Theater • Multicultural Education • Music Education
SONGS OF THE TALKING DRUM
Home | Video Collection | Order Videos | Robbie Leppzer
Digital Video Services | Media Links | Contact Us