Calling all music lovers! The second installment of the Celebration of Rhythm series at the GE Theatre at Proctor’s in Schenectady will feature Ensemble Congeros and Sensemaya, two local groups that have taken the word rhythm to heart. The program will take place on Thursday, April 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Under the direction of renowned percussionist Eddie Ade Knowles, professor of practice in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer, Ensemble Congeros performs music of Africa and the African Diaspora.
Founded in 2004, as an outgrowth of the interest and passion of Rensselaer students who successfully completed his course Introduction to Afro-Cuban Percussion, Ensemble Congeros has embarked on a journey of continuous study and performance of African, Afro-Cuban, and New World music.
“We are honored to be included in Proctor’s Celebration of Rhythm concert series,” Knowles said. “Our music is rhythm-centric and represents a cross-section of the African Diaspora, including original compositions and traditional folkloric music. Ensemble Congeros celebrates rhythm as the nexus of the mind, body, and spirit.”
Current group members include: José Mora ’94, Laura Sadowski ’98, Kristin Diotte ’11, Brandon Costelloe-Keuhn ’12, Danielle Emmons ’14, David McWilliams ’14, and Christine Knowles, Rutgers alum, MC.
Since its inception, the group has been known for its commitment to rhythm and the drum as the central medium of communication. Knowles noted that they “fully embrace the honor and opportunity of being a continuous work in progress and a human manifestation of the synergy between the drum, science, technology, and the arts.”
Ensemble Congeros has performed at colleges, universities, summer festivals, arts centers, and major concert halls. With the 2012 release of their first DVD, titled Ensemble Congeros: Chasing the Rhythms, the group has expanded its outreach to audiences on a national and international level.
Following the Proctor’s performance, Ensemble Congeros will take a summer hiatus in order to devote full time to the development of new music for future performances.
The Capital Region’s Sensemaya “fuses hot Latin dance rhythms with the cool sophistication of jazz improvisation.” Their repertoire includes “funkified” interpretations of classic salsa, and originals written in the timba style of Cuba.
For more updates about Ensemble Congeros, visit the Facebook page.
Tickets are required to attend the Proctor’s event. General admission is $15. For more information, visit the website.