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Dranoff 2 Piano Presents a Weekend in Overtown with Grammy Winning Musicians in West African Beats

On Friday, April 29th and Sunday, May 1st, Dranoff 2 Piano will present internationally acclaimed musicians, Etienne Charles and the Creole Soul band, and Weedie Braimah in African Beats. Two days of top Caribbean, African and American artists exploring their Black African musical heritage in performances at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater.

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Pre-concert talk 6:30PM | Concert 7:30PM


Multiple Grammy award-winning trumpeter Etienne Charles and his Caribbean band Creole Soul, bring the songs and dance rhythms and artist stories of West Africa that were carried across the ocean to the Americas.

PRE-CONCERT TALK: Etienne Charles will give a multimedia presentation on the historical passage of West African music into the foundation and fabric of American Jazz and Caribbean music.

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

Pre-concert talk 2:00PM | Concert 3:00PM


Grammy winning Ghanaian Djembe star Weedie Braimah and Etienne Charles bring West African percussion and beats to the greats of Jazz piano.

Jelly Roll Morton, Hazel Scott, Winifred Atwell, Chuchu Valdes

Piano Duo Angel Perez & Devin Shaw

PRE-CONCERT TALK: Etienne Charles and a panel of local Jazz musicians and scholars present the West African influence of beats and percussion on the lives and the music of the great Black Jazz pianist/composers.

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex

819 NW 2nd Avenue

Miami, FL 33136

One Day Ticket: $25 | Weekend Ticket: $40 | Students with ID $5 at the door

West African Beats – African influences in American music concert series is supported by Funding Arts Network (FAN) a not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding performing and visual arts in Miami Dade Count via their AWARE initiative (Artists Works Addressing and Rethinking Equity) in celebration of the 25th anniversary of philanthropy in our hometown.

About Dranoff

For 36 years, the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation has been the world’s leading champion of exclusively two piano repertoire and artistry. It is the only international foundation, accredited by the World Federation of International Music Competitions, to discover, promote, and award honors to top professional duo piano artists through its competition, commissions, and presentations of duo piano concerts. The Dranoff promotes awareness in a new generation of students of the transformational power of music and the arts through its multi-disciplinary, educational, and inspirational concert program, PIANO SLAM.

About the Artists

Trinidad born Etienne Charles is a performer, composer and storyteller, who is continuously searching for untold stories and sounds with which to tell them.

His lush trumpet sound, varied compositional textures and pulsating percussive grooves enable him to invoke trance, soothing and exciting listeners while referencing touchy and sometimes controversial subjects in his music. As an Afro-descendant, his work is actively connecting the diaspora and drawing lines to regions at the roots of migrations. Highlighting marginalized communities and engaging with them has been his mission, evident with projects such as Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1, San Jose Suite, Creole Soul, and Folklore.

He has been featured as a bandleader at the Newport Jazz Festival (RI), Monterey Jazz Festival (CA), Atlanta Jazz Festival (GA), Pittsburgh JazzLive international Festival (PA), San Jose Jazz Festival (CA), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Ottawa Jazz Festival (Canada), St. Lucia Jazz Festival, Barbados Jazz Festival, Library of Congress (DC), Carnegie Hall (NY) and Koerner Hall (Canada).

As a sideman he has performed with and/or arranged for Roberta Flack, Marcus Roberts, Marcus Miller, Count Basie Orchestra, Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band, Monty Alexander, Gregory Porter, René Marie, Paulette McWilliams and many others. He has been commissioned as a composer and arranger by Lincoln Center (2018 & 2021), Savannah Music Festival (2017), Chamber Music America (2015 & 2021), the Charleston Jazz Orchestra (2012) and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (2011).

As an educator and conductor, he has done residencies at the Juilliard School, Stanford University, Columbia College Chicago, Oakland University, Kent State University, Walnut Hills High School, Cultural Academy for Excellence, and the US Military Academy.

His dedication to the preservation of artistic traditions in his homeland inspired him to form and lead the Carnival bands, "We the People" (2017), "Street Party" (2018), "D'longtime Band" (2019) and "Euphoria" (2020) which featured a full live brass band on a truck going through the streets of Woodbrook and Port of Spain playing vintage calypso and soca.

He currently serves as Associate Professor of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami, Patricia L. Frost School of Music.

Weedie Braimah is a young premier master of the djembe. He began his career at the early age of two, born in Ghana, where he was first introduced to West African culture and drumming. In East St. Louis, which is considered home for Braimah, he began his lifelong quest and professional career in the study of cultural music of the diasporas. A maverick performer of the highest caliber, Braimah has an almost insatiable knack to draw the entire audience into his grove, zigzagging through Africa on a breathtaking rhythmic roller coaster.

Braimah comes from a long lineage of musicians, including his mother, a respected jazz drummer and his father, a world renowned composer and master drummer. Having studied with the greats such as Mamady Keita, Famadou Konate, Abdoul Doumbia, and Fadouba Oulare just to name a few, it was no surprise that Braimah excelled musically and became well known on the drum and dance circuit. Braimah has been a performer, teacher and preserver of African culture for over 20 years and continues to peruse new musical journeys every day.

By ML Staff. Image courtesy of Unsplash


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