Feedback experienced déjà vu when we first walked into Jack Jouett Middle School the other week. It reminded us of our own middle school years at Henley, which has an identical floorplan. After signing in as a visitor (and getting our nametag, complete with a picture of the Jouett Jaguar) we headed to the cafeteria and found Robert Jospé and Kevin Davis setting up for their World Beat Workshop.
As the two musicians assembled their drums and worked with the school staff to hunt down a PA system, we talked with Jospé about World Beat. "Kevin and I put the program together around 15 years ago," Jospé told us. The two met in the early ’90s when Jospé asked Davis to join Inner Rhythm, his jazz fusion ensemble. Pretty soon they hatched the idea of doing an educational presentation and, with a few claps of the claves and shakes of a shekere, their World Beat Workshop was born. "It’s meant to show the influence of West and Central African rhythms on the popular dance music of the Americas," said Jospé, pointing to a large map at the side of the stage with arrows representing the movement of Africans across the Atlantic.
Shake it! Robert Jospé and Kevin Davis’ World Beat Workshop is a fun, polyrhythmic affair.
Since starting out, World Beat has made its own migrations around Virginia, and sometimes beyond. In 2006, Jospé and Davis spent two weeks in Hawaii, taking the workshop to various schools and libraries. "That was really terrific," says Jospé. "And the other week we were in New York at the Ethical Culture School. We didn’t know how it would go. There are so many great Cuban, Latin and jazz people in New York, but they were really enthusiastic."
Jospé and Davis finished setting up just as the children begin to stream into the cafeteria. Finding a seat in the first row, Feedback was excited to see the workshop in action, especially since we think 500 or so rambunctious middle schoolers is a pretty tough audience.
After some sushing and a few announcements by the principal (we hope the kids that usually ride bus 47 remembered to get on bus 114), Davis and Jospé began their presentation. Centered around the essential clave beat (it goes something like this: bop, bop, bop…bopbop), the workshop journeyed through different parts of the western hemisphere, from Cuba to Trinidad to New Orleans, showing how regional sounds connect back to traditional African polyrhythms.
Jospé and Davis encouraged the kids to clap along to the different beats, and when the presentation neared its end, they pulled out an array of shakers and other instruments and invited the front row onto the stage to jam along. Laughter and cheering sprung up all around us, so we’re pretty sure the program was a hit. After all, what would energetic kids want to do after a day of classes besides make some noise? Thanks to Jospé and Davis, though, they also got an informative music lesson.
A video of Jospé and Davis’ World Beat Workshop at Jack Jouett Middle School.
Can you feel that chill in the air? No? Well, despite the continuing nice weather, it is indeed fall. The days are getting shorter, so now you’ll have more time to roam the night and catch some great live music. On October 27, Feedback will head out to Rapunzel’s Coffee and Books in Lovingston to see C-VILLE’s own Brendan Fitzgerald join Laura Eve Engel for a few songs. We suggest you do the same. After a picturesque drive you’ll get to catch some equally beautiful music.
Halloween is fast approaching, and many local musicians will be playing some special shows. This Saturday, October 27, Synthetic Division, Silent Muse and DJ.k00k will get you dancing at The Dawning’s Halloween bash at Outback Lodge. With the departure of electronics wiz Kyle Wiggins, Synthetic Division’s Shawn Decker has now brought former In Tenebris keyboardist Marshall Camden into the mix, and we’re excited to catch the new line-up.
On Halloween night, Orbit‘s Charlottesville Music Showcase will feature a Ziggy Stardust cover band (fronted by former Business of Flies singer Zach Jones), Peen (Charlottesville’s premier Ween tribute band), 6 Day Bender playing Velvet Underground songs, a John Mellencamp cover band and hot tracks from DJ XSV. Just up the street at Satellite Ballroom, Mass Sabbath, who claim to be the largest Black Sabbath cover band on earth (they number somewhere around 13 or 14), will play their fourth annual show (look for more on these mass metalheads in next week’s column).
There’s a new radio station in town. Its name is Tom. Hi, Tom! You can find him (we feel a bit weird about giving a radio station a gender) at 107.5 on your FM dial, and his slogan is "Anything. Anytime." While we’re glad that the station isn’t owned by Clear Channel (Monticello Media bought 107.5 as well as five other local stations from the conglomerate), we don’t really think that following the Bee Gees with Matchbox 20 or Nickelback with Earth, Wind and Fire (both examples from the station’s press release) really qualifies as "Anything. Anytime."
Hitting the big time? Sparky’s Flaw is busy prepping to record its debut album in December.
And it looks like local pop rockers Sparky’s Flaw are up to a lot this fall. The other week frontman Will Anderson was out in L.A. meeting with potential producers for the band’s debut full-length, which they’ll be recording in December. They can’t say who will be releasing the record yet, but it sounds like a big (or, shall we say, major) deal.
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