Artists in Schools Directory
A musical journey bridging Africa and the Americas through song, dance and stories by weaving the history that connects these continents into a multi-cultural quilt of entertaining, educational performances. From the driving rhythms of Mali to the beautiful sambas of Brazil to the vibrant Salsa of Cuba and the playful Cumbia of Columbia, students will learn about the musical instruments that create this cultural music and that have influenced contemporary music styles. On this adventure, the audience is invited to sing-a-long, clap, dance and play percussion instruments with the ensemble on stage. By sharing our appreciation of the complexities of the music we experienced in these countries, we hope to instill a respect for the people and their unique, creative capacities amidst political, economic and social struggles. Interactive audience participation, singing and performing with the artists on stage is encouraged; question and answer period at the end of the performance.
Since 1992, Alex Weiss & Different Drum have performed throughout the Carolinas, bringing their unique sound that bridges Africa and the Americas to schools, universities, multicultural festivals and communities. An award-winning composer and music educator since 1978, Alex received the Durham Arts Council's Emerging Artists Grant and the NC Arts Council's Artist Fellowship for songwriting. He has produced seven CDs featuring original compositions and unique instruments: dunun, djembe, shekere, congas, bongos, tambor, Latin American percussion, bass guitar, wood flutes, trumpet, saxophone and harmonica. Alex’s stories and Different Drum’s music reflect his travels throughout Mexico, Central America, North Africa, Europe and the Middle East.