is Ghana’s only recognized female Master drummer. Adwoa is from Cape Coast (West Africa) and has been teaching drumming and dance since she was 13 years old. As a young girl growing up, she always knew what she wanted to do, but women were not allowed to drum. Adwoa managed to break through the obstacles she faced and this struggle has made her so unique! Her fame, talents and skills in performing and teaching are known locally and internationally.
In 2000, Antoinette Adwoa Kudoto received an award from the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ACRAG) as the Only Versatile Female Master Drummer in Ghana. She has also received honors from both Television Africa, International Center for African Music and Dance, and Center for Intercultural and Talent Development. She has enjoyed traveling all around the US and Europe sharing her culture with others – both drumming culture and Ghanaian culture in general. In Cape Coast, Adwoa is the leader and founder of the group, Nyame Tsease African Traditionals, comprised of young and talented drummers and dancers in Cape Coast, Ghana. 
Adwoa and her daughter, Sena, will be teaching ALL LEVELS


GOURDSONG SHEKERE PLAYING One of Walking Tree’s specialties! Learn her/history, fundamentals and techniques of playing Shekere and naked gourd through interactive exercises. Finely strung and tuned professional quality Walking Tree Shekeres available for playing in class. First come first served. If you can borrow someone’s Shekere we will have more than enough and lots of fun playing and dancing together. ALL LEVELS

DJEMBE FEVAH* (WEST AFRICAN) Excel in your Djembe playing with body postures (sitting and standing), rhythm placement, introductions, accompaniments, and
“Solos.” Fine-tune specific hand techniques, rolls, flams and ambidextrous playing, and much more. *Course Prerequisite: Course taught at Advanced levels. Newbie and Beginning drummers are welcomed to observe/witness. We will play rhythms from Guinea and contemporary riddims. This class is great preparation to drum for dance classes. We will have a blast moving and drumming together getting more into our skins. INTERMEDIATE


MEDICINE WOMAN ~ SPIRIT WISDOM – SOUND, SPIRIT, & SPELLS TO PLANT BY. Working with sacred planting and harvest chants and songs to call to the natural spirits also known as Orishas, we delve into the knowledge of drum and percussion from various global traditions. from the rhythmic drum hand and stick patterns to complete koros and songs from indigenous tribes from Africa, through the Caribbean in to new orleans and beyond, this workshop teaches the ancient tradition of singing with large groups in what is known as a circle song. Utilizing the traditions of various cultures, both ancient and contemporary, we focus on developing and improving playing techniques and our own rhythmic vocabulary, and together, we experience the unifying and revitalizing effects of group playing, toning, and singing. ALL LEVELS


HONORING THE PAST, HEALING THE FUTURE: DIVERSITY, COMPASSION, HEALING AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.  What issues keep us from making deep and lasting connections with all our relations? How have our lives and the lives of our peoples been affected by socially sanctioned oppressions?  How can we help create a world that will cherish and protect everyone? What prevents us from building the alliances that will change and remake the world? In this presentation, we will use a variety of modalities to support diversity awareness, alliance building, inclusivity and self-care. We will employ music, movement, and non-denominational  ritual, to create a safe space for sharing our stories of encounters with oppression, diversity, identity and healing. Writing, diversity exercises and mindfulness will help us more deeply comprehend the  connections we have with all of life – including the ability to heal our wounds, and build the alliances that will mend our broken world. Open to all gender identities and abilities; no knowledge of dance or movement required; just bring an open heart and a willingness to  share.


WHEN ANCESTORS SPEAK THROUGH RHYTHM For this Festival my Workshop will be “When Ancestors speak through Rhythm” It’s all about La Palabra Musical, The Music Of The Word, the Rhythm that speaks in us & through us & our responsibility in using this most sacred of gifts wisely. Be ready to write, bring your instruments & be prepared to surrender your egos to each other & the Music of the Word. I want to unlock a waterfall of poetic metaphors as strong as any Rhythm you’ve ever heard played on the Drum & see where it take us!!! I’m ready, are you?  ALL LEVELS


DRUMMING IN THE POWER OF NOW! IMPROVISING & SOLOING FOR DRUMMERS  Starting from the beginning…showing up…being present…staying present…bodies connecting to the inner pulse – the essential connection to everything drumming…knowing there are no mistakes, just new takes…exploring what it feels like to let go into the flow while following the musical muse. Step by step we go… fear recedes to be replaced by the joy of creating. Getting more comfortable with not knowing what is next…simply trusting. Leaving judgment and criticism behind…choosing awareness, discernment…allowing the lightness of being to take over while becoming one with the drum. Open heart…solid beat…rhythms abound…you’re in for a treat!  ALL LEVELS – ALL KINDS OF DRUMS


INTERMEDIATE CONGA CLASS. We will be learning beautiful Afro-Cuban rhythms for the Conga and accompanying percussion instruments. We will also focus on playing with good technique.

BASIC SKILLS CLASS FOR HAND DRUMS. This class will focus on the very beginning lessons for drums: how to hold your drum, good technique and drawing beautiful SOUND out of your drum.


CONVERSATION CAFÉ ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMO’S)  GMO’s…What are the facts? How do they affect your personal health?How can you avoid eating them? What else can be done to improve the current situation? Exploring Possibilities:

How can we start or enhance our ability to be a part of the change needed to change the paradigm? How can we create a diverse, healthy, and vital culture going forward for our food chain and democracy in general?

BIO: CARRIE DURKEE is a community organizer, a teacher and an activist. She has worked for over three decades in such movements as the women’s, anti-nuclear, environmental, community rights, and democracy movements.

She is currently focused on the question of whole systems change. How can we imagine working together towards creating the culture and the democracy we want to live in? She has been teaching a class at Mendocino College related to these issues and is an affiliate coordinator for Move to Amend, a national organization organizing to amend the Constitution of the US, so that corporations do not have the rights of people and that money is not equal to free speech.


CAMPFIRE TALK  Corrina is a Chochenyo and Kerkin Ohlone woman born and and raised in Oakland, CA, Corrina  is the mother of three children Corrina is the Co-Founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change(IPOC), a small Native run organization that works on Indigenous people issues as well as sponsoring an annual Shellmound Peace Walk to bring about education and awareness of the desecration of the sacred sites in the greater Bay Area, 2005-2009.   IPOC has led many actions including the 2011 Occupation  of  Segorea Te   in Vallejo, California which was successful in preserving the sacred site.  Corrina also sits on the California Indigenous Environmental Association Board , the Board of Directors for the Oakland Street Academy Foundation and is the treasurer for the Edes HOA.


BODY PERCUSSION/LIVING IN THE RHYTHM, an exploration body music: We live in our bodies each and every day, and the body is the original instrument, made up of pulses, beats and more. Come play as we tap, snap and clap our way into a playful rhythm zone. We will work with a variety of rhythms, starting simple and progressing into more challenging poly-rhythms. Be prepared to have fun, stretch your limits and become immersed in the joy of being in your body in rhythm! ALL LEVELS


ABC’S OF GARDENING   Let’s talk about sun, soil, water, seed and how they miraculously become flower, fruits and vegetables. Dolores is a long time gardener and is a Master gardener in Santa Clara county. She has many years of experience and loves to share her experience.


SOIL SONGS: POLYRHYTHMIC SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET.  What’s going on in the soil beneath your feet? What can you do in your own backyard to address climate change? How can you support policies and practices to move the giant food system in a direction that heals the earth?


ALL LEVELS AFRO-CUBAN BATÁ DRUMMING This class is for any level of batá student from beginner to advanced (intermediate or advanced players can try the itótele or iyá and/or make requests for what songs and rhythms to focus on in the class).  The class is taught in an “orchestral” fashion, with each drum playing in unison in a section (okónkolo section, itótele section, iyá section).  We will briefly review the basics of posture, tone, and technique for each of the three drums, and talk very briefly about the history of the batá drums—where they came from, what they are for, and how they have evolved.  Depending on students’ experience and interest, we will cover several toques (rhythms) such as Yakotá, Sokutanibo, Iyamase lobi Changó, Ogún, Iyesá, Lubanche, or others, as well as a few songs for the orishas (forces of nature).


THE HEALING ECSTASY OF SOUND, A TRANSFORMATIVE CHANT CIRCLE Experience chant and song as a form of medicine and a tool for healing and transformation. We will chant and sing for ourselves and each other to awaken joy, healing and help us connect to our own deepest wisdom. ALL LEVELS


CONGOLESE STYLE CLASS We will work on drum styles and songs and technique. People can bring Ngomas, Congas, Djembes, bells, shakers, and everything. ALL LEVELS


This is a class to work on technique: how to use your hands and body to get a good sound out of the drum, and also take care of your hands atthe same time. We’ll also work on rhythms and exercises to work on the balance between right and left sides. AND we’ll learn some African and Afro-caribbean style rhythms and play together as a group!


GROOVE IS IN THE HEART – DRUMMM YOURSELF FREE! Ever wondered what to play in a drum circle or jam? Curious about how to get a groove started? Want to improve your musicality and play more dynamically in any style? In this playful rhythmic exploration we will—

  • Discover how to find and play around the pulse in any groove.
  • Learn some of the basic universal grooves in 4/4 and 12/8.
  • Develop skills for listening and responding to music in the moment.
  • Learn rhythm games and tricks for getting into the groove.
  • Explore how to express your own authentic “voice” on the drum.
  • Discover easy ways to “solo” or improvise within a groove.
  • Create a “dialogue” with other drummers in an ensemble.

Please bring your favorite drum and a hand-held percussion instrument (shaker, bell, claves, tambourine, etc.) if you have. There will be extras available. ALL LEVELS  are welcome!




Calipso Venezolano is a style of music played during the “Carnaval” celebrations in Venezuela during the month of February. The name “Calipso” principally refers to a style of music that originated from the town of “El Callao” in the state of Bolívar (south-eastern part of the country) – hence, its formal name, “Calipso de El Callao”. The rhythmic patterns and instrumentation are closely related to those of its Caribbean cousins (Trinitarian calipso, Brazilian samba) and the sound of the fast-strummed Cuatro (4-string guitar) gives the music its distinctive Venezuelan quality.

Traditional Instrumentation: Cuatro, bumbak drum, rayo (metal scraper), triangle, campana (metal bell), cow bell, whistle, vocals. Participants should bring any of the following: djembes, congas, guiros, cow bells, gankoguis, agogos, triangles. ALL LEVELS


WEST AFRICAN DUNDUN DANCE Drum while you dance, dance while you drum. We will explore one version of Makru, a seduction dance from the Susu people of Guinea.  We will learn several stick patterns and dance simple moves around the drums.  Build your coordination and technique. Dununba and sangban drums are preferred due to size.  Kenkeni drums are also welcome. No lifting of your drum is required during the dance. There will be several loaner drums available. ALL LEVELS


SING IT AND PLAY IT!! The classes will focus on the integration of hand, foot, voice and rhythm. INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCE LEVEL


DUNUN (BASS DRUMS) FROM GUINEA. Those drums are the heart of the Malinke rhythm: the bass drum are made from hallowed tree trunks cut to a cylindrical shape and covered with cowhide at both end: the musician strikes the drum with a wooden stick on one hand, while the other hand simultaneously holds a metal stick that is used to strike an iron bell attached to the drum. The Dunun comes in three different sizes. The names of the drums are: Kenkeni, the smallest and the keeper of the time; Sangban, the middle one is the heart; Dununba gives power and heat to the rhythm as well adding great rhythmic dimension; the bells bring another tonality and fill the space between the beats. In some regions they play one or two. Only in Kurussa and Kankan region, they play all tree Dununs and bells. ALL LEVELS


BASIC SKILLS  Basic Stick Control—Stick technique is an important component of percussion, and it’s fun! We’ll go over basics of correct holding/grip of sticks and play rhythms that are applied to different styles of music. Bring (matching) drumsticks if you have them (some will be provided).

AFRO BRAZILIAN HAND DRUMMING Congas are welcome at this class, where we’ll play popular rhythms Samba de Roda (the “original” samba) and Ijexa. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL


NATIVE AMERICAN PLAINS-STYLE DRUMMING We’ll be sharing songs and respect for the mother drum indigenous to the Great Plains. We’ll make drumsticks, discussing origin of materials, and share songs and rhythms and dances specific to this particular drum. We also explore the many reasons women are called to this style of drumming and find another community of nurturing support. Please come share your knowledge and gather some, too. ALL LEVELS


NYABINGHI DRUMMING: ROOT TO RISE We will explore the origins of the Nyabinghi movement and the evolution of the chants and rhythms as it relates to our music today. ALL LEVELS

JAMAICAN TRADITIONAL FOLK FORMS: BREAKING THE CHAINS Walking through the Traditional folk forms of Jamaica with rhythm and song, from enslavement to emancipation to the birth of Reggae. ALL LEVELS

REGGAE TO DANCEHALL MIXUP AN BLEND:  A Journey through the Genres of Jamaica! ALL LEVELS


MOTHER EARTH’S IMMUNE RESPONSE: INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF THE AMERICAS DEFENDING MOTHER EARTH TREATY  Around the world women are rising up and taking the lead to protect and defend the sacred system of life.  On September 27, 2015, an historic treaty was signed between Indigenous women of North and South America which calls upon all women to take a stand for future generations of life.  As it states in the Treaty: “We are drawing the line and saying that the harms stop here and now. No more fossil fuel infrastructure or extraction, no more genetically modified organisms, no more toxins in our water, soil and air, and no more commodifying and privatizing of the earth, air, water, soil and natural systems.”

The Treaty calls upon all women to conduct new moon ceremonies to pray for guidance and wisdom in defending Mother Earth, as well as direct actions on each solstice and equinox to:

  • Become educated concerning the harms to life and the environment
  • Pledge to support the rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Inform yourself and join the circles of global resistance demanding a new system that seeks harmony between humans and the rights of Mother Earth
  • Pledge to nonviolence and become trained in nonviolent direct action
  • Nonviolently rise up with others in your communities and around the world to demand immediate changes in the laws that have created the destruction
  • Commit nonviolent acts of civil disobedience where destruction is occurring until it is stopped
  • Continue these acts until “business as usual” is halted and life on Mother Earth is safe for generations to come

Pennie will be sharing updates on the life of the Treaty, women on the frontlines of the climate justice movement and local actions for women to become involved in defending and protecting Mother Earth and her sacred system of life.  Please read the Treaty before attending this workshop:


EMBODIED MOVEMENT Come warm up, stretch and prepare your body, mind and spirit for a day of women’s drum wisdom, learning and sharing. With each subtle to deep move we reclaim power, natural breath, presence and range of motion. Rekindle community and effortless passion as we move to the sounds of women drumming, singing and dancing. ALL LEVELS


RHYTHMS AND MELODIES OF ZIMBABWE Come learn the exhilarating rhythms and melodies of the marimba. These danceable and infectious sounds are from the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The ensemble of instruments provides an orchestral experience like no other. The deep gut felt sounds of the bass will provide the backbone of the ensemble, the sopranos drives the melodies and tenors and baritones will provide delicious compliment. If you can move your wrists and have ears you can learn how to play. Classes will be geared to experience level. Come join the fun. ALL LEVELS


AFRO-CUBAN FOLKLORIC DANCE Susana is a renowned dancer and professor of Afro-Cuban Folkloric styles. The dance and the music is beautiful and Susana is a very wonderful and fun teacher. The class will have live drumming led by Elizabeth Sayre and other drummers. ALL LEVELS


Susu’s first drum lessons as a child were given to her by her mom, Amina. This was followed by years of playing for Amina’s belly dance classes and performing in bands that accompanied Amina’s dance company (Aswan Dancers).  Amina has been dancing drumming for decades and is excited to join Susu, co-teaching the Middle Eastern Rhythm classes this year at Born to Drum 2016.  In 2013, Amina and Susu recorded a cd in Egypt with Safaa Farid’s band.  They work together as percussionists in the Caravan Band, Aswat Arab Community choir, and the Georges Lammam Ensemble, and with Amina’s dance company, the Aswan Dancers. Susu teaches weekly class at Amina’s SF home studio.

MIDDLE EASTERN PERCUSSION. We will explore a few of the  most popular rhythms found in Middle Eastern Music and learn how to make great sounds on the Darabukka ( aka Dumbek or Egyptian Tabla), the frame drum, and Riq ( tambourine). Extra frame drums will be available. BEGINNERS AND INTERMEDIATE

MIXED LEVEL MIDDLE EASTERN DRUM AND DANCE CLASS. This class will demonstrate various rhythms  and corresponding dance movements of various countries of  the Middle East.   ALL LEVELS of drummers and dancers are encouraged. Bring any kind of drum, we will bring some frame drums.


YOGA – Queen is offering Yoga classes from 8:00am – 9:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Women sing her praises about these classes.

WEST AFRICAN DANCE CLASS Queen teaches Nu Traditional Afrikan Dance Movement. She is visionary to a combination of ancient ancestral movements and modern concepts that fill each movement with intentions of physical, emotional balance and well being whereby self-empowerment via self expression unfolds harmony and the desired state of being. ALL LEVELS


DRUMMING AFRO-CUBAN RHYTHMS: Virginia will teach specific drum patterns that are useful when playing with others. Afro-Cuban based rhythms that become universal patterns, and help drummers play together. LLanera, tresillo, basic tumba drum patterns, quinto drum patterns. ALL LEVELS

SINGING SONGS IN CLAVE: RUMBAS, BEMBE, AND SON MONTUNO. Virginia will teach how to stay in clave while singing rumba songs. Also, other clave patterns will be discussed. Son clave vs. Rumba clave 6/8 bell and singing spiritual Orisha songs, Son clave patterns while singing Son. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL