Let There Be Drums: Ensemble Congeros @ the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 3/31/12

Bang on a drum…

That’s a page from the philosophy of Dr. Eddie Ade Knowles, veteran drum master who has performed and recorded with a wide variety of bands and dance troupes during his more than 40-year music career, including the Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron & the Midnight Band.

Knowles is also the longtime Vice President for Student Life at RPI in Troy, where he brought his musical passion to students in his course “Introduction to Afro-Cuban Percussion.”

In 2004, Knowles founded Ensemble Congeros, a group of current and former RPI students who studied with him. “Ensemble Congeros is comprised of members from diverse ethnic, gender, religious and intellectual communities,” says Knowles.” We celebrate our collective diversity and are united in our commitment to chasing the rhythms as a medium with universal appeal to all people.”

This weekend, Knowles and Ensemble Congeros will celebrate the release of their debut DVD, “Chasing the Rhythms.” The group will perform in concert at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy at 8pm on Saturday (March 31).

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Joining Knowles in the percussive celebration will be Alexandra Greenbaum, Iya Christine Knowles, Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, Dr. Carlos Lopez, Jose Mora, Joseph Palazzo and Laura Sadowski (all of whom perform on the DVD), as well as Cara Apfel, Nick Caljean and Gus Courtsunis. Special guests Bob Button and Morgaen Hansen will also join in the festivities.

As part of Kids Night Out – a special, family-focused Troy Night Out on Friday (March 30) – the Ensemble will perform a free sneak preview of the following evening’s concert. “Join the Circle of Drums” will take place from 7-8:30pm on Friday, and attendees are encouraged to join the ensemble using basic rhythm
instruments.

Ensemble Congeros’ DVD release party and concert performance will be held in the theater at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy at 8pm on Saturday. Admission to the performance is $15, which includes a copy of the group’s new DVD, “Chasing the Rhythms.”

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