School Shows 2016/17
School Performance; “Ode to the Banjo”
Lotus Wight is a music and stage performer most noted for his work with international touring group Sheesham, Lotus, and Son. After six successful seasons performing in schools with Toronto’s Prologue to the Performing Arts agency, Wight has developed a sonically and visually unique show about the global influences in North American folk music. Lotus is pleased to perform this show to all ages.
“The banjo comes from Africa!” exclaims Lotus holding up a gourd, a goatskin, and a stick as he traces the banjo’s journey with the enslaved people of West Africa to the Southern United States. The story of our music unfolds before the ears and eyes of the viewer as Wight demonstrates on ekonting, kamelen’goni and other African gourds.
Harmonica, mouth-bow, and jaw harp illustrate the importance of First Nations and Asian cultures to American folk and modern music.
Strange and beautiful sounds from civilization’s earliest days are skillfully woven into the story, while the narrative reveals common truths shared by all cultures of the globe.
For the 2016/2017 school year Lotus is pleased to offer two workshops in hands-on music making. These workshops in the folk arts are focused on providing a safe and positive venue for goal-based group participation. They are most successful when offered in tandem with Lotus Wight’s Ode to the Banjo.
Jaw-Harps/Mouth Bows: From the people of North American First Nations to Africa and beyond, these instruments have a compelling and familiar sound. Students will be provided with instruments, an historical background, and a comprehensive lesson in rhythmic variation and application to ensemble playing.
Hambone/Body Percussion: At the roots of hip-hop and rap is this amazing form of body of body percussion. From the playground to the concert stage we can see and hear its rhythmic influence. African, South American, and First Nations influences will be examined. Workshop includes exciting demonstrations, examples on integrating with other instruments, and unilateral group participation.
“Lotus Wight’s charming command of his fascinating array of music underscores a unique vision that I’ve encountered nowhere else. He boasts an uncanny ability to share his information and enthusiasm with people of all ages. An exhilarating learning experience.”
–Doug Williams; director/writer (Fraggle Rock, Mister Dressup, and The Elephant Show), and chair of the Program Advisory Committee for the Children’s Media Program at Centennial College.