Rhythm Culture
Music Education

School Programs

"Exploring Rhythms of the Caribbean Region"

Interactive School Assembly Program with Rhythm Culture

This 50-minute interactive music program takes young people on an entertaining, yet educational journey through the music of the Caribbean Region. Trip leaders include several of Portland's top musicians who collectively bring with them decades of experience playing all kinds of music for audiences of all ages. They are experienced working with young people, both in the school setting as well as through various social service programs and private lessons.

During the 50-minute musical tour, students learn about the various types of music and rhythms that are part of the region. Specifically they visit the music of Trinidad/Tobago, Cuba and Jamaica. Tour leaders describe various rhythms including Bosa Nova, Samba, Rock Steady, Socca, Rap, Folk, Reggae and Calypso and play songs representative of those rhythms. Students also take a trip to "Carnival," an event celebrated throughout the region. In addition, various musical concepts are touched upon including the emotional feelings associated with major and minor chords in music along with Call and Response.

Interactive elements include Call and Response activities with voice and clapping. Students learn about the 3/2 Clave rhythm of the region and learn to clap and sing its elements. The students are asked to sing back-up vocals on some of the songs. On several occasions members of the audience will be asked to join the band by playing one of a variety of percussion instruments including hand drums, bells, shakers, and sticks.

This is a highly energetic and interactive program full of traditional songs and rhythms of the area, educational information about music and the traditions of people in this area. Everyone loves this program - students, teachers and parents. We guarantee it! Tour Leaders for this Rhythmic journey are members of the Portland-based reggae band, Rhythm Culture. Led by Musical Director/Drummer, Byron Mercurius of Guyana, South America, this band plays original and cover music and includes Ken Graves on guitar, Joseph Conrad on bass, Allen Kim on keyboards and Monte Skillings on Trombone.


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