PBS WMHT's AHA! A House for Arts - Highlighting the Diverse Arts, Artists, Presentors, and Venues of the Capital Region

Introduction & performance on one of Frank Giorgini's unique udu drums called "Mbwata".  Built entirely from clay and originally crafted utilizing traditional Nigerian Kaja pottery methods of Slab & Coil technique and with simple organic tools such as flat rocks, sticks and leaves.  This artform was introduced to the US by Nigerian Kaja Master Potter: Abbas M. Ahuwan who first visited the US in the early 1970's on a cultural exchange program.  In 1985 Frank visited Abbas in his village in Zaria, Nigeria and brought one of his hand built Udu Drums to show Abbas and Abbas's village master potters his progress in honoring their artform.  While there he asked the Master Potters for their blessing and permission to pre cast his traditional hand made udu drums so that he could make them more accessible for percussionists of any age as well as to then add in additional small access holes in each chamber so that the percussionist could incorporate internal microphones to capture electronically all the subtle nuances that you would otherwise never hear 

Introduction & Performance on a set of David Russell's Earth Drums: Shell less drums made of fabric pulp stretched over metal hoops of varying diameters.  This set features 8", 10", 12", 14", 16", and 18"  Original music copyright ©2021 brian melick

Introduction & Performance on a remarkable wooden lap drum gifted to me by the creator Felle Vega, Dominican Republic based composer, musician, instrument builder, who first designed the Boombakini to not be an instrument, but to have been a resonating chamber for a thumb piano.  After not being very happy with the result - some time later and experimenting with many different thin plywood "Luans" from different parts of the world, Felle found this object to function beautifully as a unique sounding drum.