The Memorial Drum Concert

Rele Ountò ♥ Call the Drum Spirit
Announcing the Fourth Annual Frisner Augustin Memorial Drum Concert
Presented in partnership with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) and the Eugene Lang College at The New School

Friday, June 16, 2017, 7 PM
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall at the New School, 66 West 12 Street, Manhattan (map)

At the door: $20 general; $17 students/seniors

Who’s Playing?

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The Makandal Drummers with Veroneque Ignace. La Troupe Makandal, dedicated to the commemoration of Frisner Augustin’s legacy, has offered audiences performance and educational services since 1981. The Makandal Drummers will perform with dancer/choreographer Veroneque Ignace, a 2016 Haiti Cultural Exchange Lakou NOU Artist.

Fanmi Asotò. The Fanmi Asotò ensemble, featuring Master Drummer Fanfan Tanbou René and Sirene Dantor René on vocals, performs the music of Haitian Vodou in New York’s Vodou temples and on its stages. Committed to promoting a positive understanding of Vodou, Fanmi Asotò conducts workshops on music and traditional healing.

Djarara Group. The longest-running Haitian rara in New York, Djarara is the subject of The Other Side of the Water, a 2008 documentary by Jeremy Robins and Magali Damas. They perform and teach the music of the springtime festival Rara, and animate eagerly anticipated and unforgettable summertime gatherings in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Tangled Roots. This mini-doc draws from a video recording by Amy Bonwell of Frisner Augustin’s first musical encounter with Haitian American jazz drummer Andrew Cyrille. Musician Sarah Dupuy organized the program for a New School performance on February 10, 2000. Watch two first-class drummers as they explore the historic Vodou–Jazz bond.

This program is made possible, in part, with funds to Makandal from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The Center for Traditional Music and Dance acknowledges Con Edison, National Endowment for the Arts, Howard Gilman Foundation, Scherman Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, and Gilder Foundation.

The Makandal Drummers (from left, Renald St. Juste, Morgan Zwerlein, and Steve Deats) Photo by Tony Savino
Veroneque Ignace. Photo by Isabel Hanson
Fanmi Asotò (Maestro Fanfan Tanbou René third from left, Sirene Dantor René first from right). Photo by Tony Savino
Djarara Group. Photo by Stefano Giovannini
Detail from the Congo Square: Where Jazz & Vodou Meet flyer. New School University, February 2000


A Dream Come True

Now preparing for its fourth year, the annual Frisner Augustin Memorial Drum Concert takes its inspiration from Makandal’s memorial tribute to the Master in June 2012, just months after his passing. The tribute and the first three years of the annual concert took place at Roulette in Downtown Brooklyn. It will take place in the Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall at the New School in Manhattan in 2017. This annual activity, which showcases the best of Haiti’s contemporary drummers and the art form they carry forward, realizes one of Maestro Augustin’s long-held dreams.

Featured image by Kesler Pierre
Audience joins drummers on stage for the finale, Rele Ountò 2014.

7 Responses to The Memorial Drum Concert

  1. Pingback: June 26th: Frisner Augustin Memorial Drum Festival « Haiti Cultural Exchange

  2. Pingback: Born to Dance, Born to Play | La Troupe Makandal

  3. lin deats says:

    He was one of the best drummers and was amazing at performing. Though he may be often imitated but he’ll never be duplicated. When it came to his talent and skills he was definitely one of a kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. makandal1758 says:

    His own faith drove him to be the dynamo he was. The spirits walked, and danced, with him at all times. He was forever aware of that. When I understood the unity of his art and his spirituality, my life changed.


  5. Carline Keil says:

    He was a legend.


  6. Ti Djab says:

    He remains, for me, the greatest representation of the classic Port Au Prince style. Lafrik Ginen rek! His lessons and mentorship continue to provide food, shelter, and a comfortable life for me and my family. I hope to never forget him. He was indeed special.


  7. Pingback: Call the Drum Spirit 2017 | Welcome to Makandal

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