Join Golden Drum in welcoming Congolese Kalimba Shaman, Titos Sompa, to New York City. Mr. Sompa utilizes his multiple talents to make known and keep alive Congolese musical and cultural traditions that offer healing, spiritual grounding, and affirming community to the Western world. This is a rare opportunity to experience a Kalimba Shaman from the Congo and the next generation of Kalimba Maestros, Kevin Spears and Kevin Nathaniel; a concert not to be missed!
Titos Sompa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mbongi Dance Theater Project. Originating from the Congo (Brazzaville), Titos Sompa is a charismatic and extraordinarily gifted performing artist, teacher, and healer. Since arriving in America from Paris, where he taught music and dance and toured Europe with his band, Les Echos Noir, he has inspired artists, students, and audiences with his African cultural orientation that holistically integrated music, dance, singing, folklore and spirituality. Mr. Sompa was the first to introduce the earthly and fluid Congolese style of simultaneous dancing and singing to America audiences. In the early 1970’s, he and lead drummer, Coster Massamba, brought Congolese culture to the New York artistic scene.
He is a supremely gifted singer, composer, recording artist, choreographer, storyteller, artisan of African folk crafts, producer, director, trainer, and teacher. Mr. Sompa founded the first Congolese dance company (Tanawa Dance Company) in America. He joined the New York dance and theater scene, and performed with James Earl Jones and Ann Miller, along with such jazz greats as Elvin Jones, Eddie Jefferson, Sun Ra, Ron Carter, Leon Thomas, Pharaoh Sanders, Dave Murray, Arthur Blythe, Olu Dara, and Chico Freeman, among others, before relocating to California where he became a magnet for the Congolese artistic community. Over the years he has trained and nurtured numerous Congolese artists, including Mbemba Jean Louis, Malonga Casquelourd, and Samba Ngo, as well as Fred Simpson, Oba Babatunde, and Monte Hallison, who later became masters in their own right. In 1988, Mr. Sompa founded Mbongi Dance Theatre Project, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing and celebrating the cultural arts of Africa, especially the music and dance of the Congo.
"Kevin Spears puts on a performance full of groove, sound, and intimacy that draws you into his unique yet universal world". -Benoit Glazer musical director Cirque Du SOLEIL.
AfroPop WorldWide states: "Kevin Spears utilizes the traditionalAfrican instrument and tweaks it to create a soulful, funky sound that would make Stevie Wonder smile."
Hailed as one of the best players alive today, Kevin Spears' breathtaking ability on an electric version of the traditional African instrument called kalimba is often compared to music legends such as Herbie Hancock, Jimi Hendrix, Bobby McFerrin and Les Paul. Spears' music is a refreshing mix of folk, world, and soul that will move your feet and stir your soul.
A leading force on the global mbira/kalimba scene, Kevin Nathaniel is a visionary musician who, with voice and ancient Afrikan instruments, channels sound as a universal healing force. Together, breathing rhythms to the beat of our synchronized hearts, Kevin Nathaniel resonates songs of the "big picture" of love in ways that propel the soul to dance! A long-time devotee of mbira, kalimba, circle song, drum, dance, meditation, and yoga; a world-traveled music healer sharing the musical medicine of the ancient, the now, and the beyond, Kevin Nathaniel brings a fresh, deep experience of the beauty of sound.