Women Of The Calabash
Combining traditional instruments with lush vocals, this renowned group performs original and traditional music from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas
Combining traditional instruments, vocals and traditional music forms with contemporary influences, Women of the Calabash has enchanted audiences of all ages for over twenty years, performing music from Africa, The Caribbean and black America. Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, founder/director, composer, vocalist, percussionist and teacher; Marsha Perry Starkes, vocalist, percussionist and teacher; Debra McGee, vocalist, percussionist and…
Combining traditional instruments, vocals and traditional music forms with contemporary influences, Women of the Calabash has enchanted audiences of all ages for over twenty years, performing music from Africa, The Caribbean and black America. Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, founder/director, composer, vocalist, percussionist and teacher; Marsha Perry Starkes, vocalist, percussionist and teacher; Debra McGee, vocalist, percussionist and teacher; and Nirvana Buckley, vocalist, percussionist and dancer, comprise the Women of the Calabash.
Formed in 1978, Women of the Calabash is an astounding and phenomenally charged performance ensemble. The calabash is a fruit related to the squash and gourd family. For centuries it has been dried and hollowed, creating a resonant chamber from which a multitude of instruments can be made. Nelson handcrafts many of the instruments used by the company. Women of the Calabash’s performance is interwoven with informal dialogue highlighting the history and playing techniques of the various instruments used. Their performances have brought audiences to their feet at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hal, New York’s Town Hall and The Walker Art Center of Minneapolis. They have been heard on national radio and television, and have played to standing room only crowds across four continents. Women of the Calabash continues to perform in support of liberation struggles and environmental concerns. They have also performed for President Tomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, West Africa, and President Jean Bertrand Aristede of Haiti.
Over the years, Women of the Calabash has shared billing with many well known performers, including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Phillip Glass, The Temptations, Hugh Masekela, Ashford & Simpson, Odetta, Los Munequitos de mantanza, and Richie Havens.
Cited as “Musicians Extraordinaire” by the National Council for Culture and Art, Women of the Calabash received the council’s prestigious Monarch Merit Award. The Company won a Blue Ribbon for Best Music Video 1988 from the American Film Festival. They also won the Cine 1994 Golden Eagle Award for composer and performer in the film The Visit. HBO featured Women of the Calabash in a Black History month profile in 1997. Their critically acclaimed CD The Kwanzaa Album delights listeners year round. Women of the Calabash views music as a continuum, moving across boundaries of style and instrumentation to give unity and context to the African American experience.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
An Evening With Women of the Calabash
Women of the Calabash
1 HOUR OR LESS