Women in Percussion Festival

Women in Percussion Festival

Oct 11 to 15, 2017 at Lula Lounge

Lula Music and Arts Centre celebrates women in world and Latin percussion with five days of concerts, workshops and drumming-focused conversations featuring leading local artists and international guests. While highlighting the work of top calibre and boundary-breaking percussionists with roots in Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, India, Brazil, Guinea, and the Anishinaabe Nation, Women in Percussion will explore the challenges faced by women drummers as well as the the role of drumming in various cultural and spiritual traditions.

Inspired by the women musicians who pursue their artistic vision in the male-dominated world of drumming, contributing programmers Olga Dominguez and Mabinty Sylla have guided the curation of the festival which has been made possible by Ontario150, The Government of Ontario, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Heritage. Tamar Dina, director of Music Liberatory will introduce and the concerts and workshops.

October 11 Rakkatak + Baobá + Sarah Thawer & Friends

6pm doors, 7pm show

$15 advance / $20 at the door

Presented in association with NAC presents across Canada with Introduction by Tamar Dina of Music Liberatory

October 12 Brenda Navarrete + OKÁN + Aline Morale and Jabu Morales

6pm doors, 7pm show

$15 advance / $20 at the door

October 13 Madelin Espinosa with Iroko and Papiosco y Los Ritmicos

Free before 8pm/$15 at the door

October 14 Shandra Spears Bombay + Mabinty Sylla + Madelin Espinosa

Shandra Spears Bombay

Ceremony, Spirit and Gender: Anishinaabe Nation Percussion

Talk and intimate performance. 11am FREE. Reserve at info@lula.ca

Mabinty Sylla Workshop

West African Drumming and Dance Workshop (Bring a drum or use our buckets.) This workshop will be delivered in French but you can follow it even if you don’t speak French!

1pm FREE Reserve at info@lula.ca

Madelin Espinosa Workshop

Basics of Cuban percussion

3pm FREE Reserve at info@lula.ca

October 15 Sarah Thawer + Aline Morales

Sarah Thawer

Drumming Workshop

1pm FREE Reserve at info@lula.ca

Aline Morales

Aline Morales Brazilian Percussion workshop and closing party

2:30 FREE Reserve at info@lula.ca


(in alphabetical order)

Aline Morales

Since her arrival in Canada in 2003, Brazilian-born Morales has had an enormous impact on the Toronto Brazilian music scene. Largely responsible for the introduction of Maracatu rhythms to Toronto drumming, Aline has built a strong reputation a dynamic singer, percussionist and bandleader. Her 2011 debut solo album, Flores, Tambores e Amores was met with widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for the Juno World Music Album of the Year, reaching first place on Canada’s folk and world charts and landing on several best of 2011 lists. A member of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, Aline also leads the popular Maracatu group Baque de Bamba which has recently been undertaking an exciting experimental musical journey, the band Forrónite, and a group under her own name.


Baobá is a Latin percussive trio formed in 2015 by some of Toronto’s top female percussionists - taking traditional beats to the next level. Empowered by the natural musicality that flows from South American bodies. Anita Graciano, Y Josephine, Mari Palhares representing Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil respectively, demonstrate and ideal balance of voice, melody and instrumentation. The group performs mostly original songs, as well as old school Latin cover hits of Cumbia, Salsa, Funk, AfroBrazilian/Colombian/Venezuelan and many other Latin inspired rhythms.

Brenda Navarrete

Brenda Navarrete has collaborated with Cuba’s music elite and has toured in Canada and the US. From the beginning, Brenda set her sights on percussion and a career in music. A graduate of Cuba’s prestigious Amadeo Roldán Music Conservatory, she earned accreditations as an instrumentalist and ensemble and percussion instructor. Brenda is making her mark as an accomplished singer, percussionist, composer and arranger. Her new recording on Alma Records will be released later this year.

Jabu Morales

Barcelona-based Brazilian singer and percussionist Jabu Morales has released several CDs: Jabu (2010) and Malungo (2015). As well her song was chosen to be part of the Universo Brasilis CD release in 2016. A member of the all-female ensemble Tambor de Saia, Jabu leads the group Mandacaru Maracatu, a project that takes inspiration from African influences to create original arrangements and compositions based on traditional rhythms. Jabu is also involved with the Maracatu Barcelona, an organization dedicated to the study, diffusion and promotion of the Maracatu tradition and the weekly forró project Madam Baião in at Barcelona’s Diobar.