​Women in Percussion

A 5-day festival of concerts and workshops celebrating local and international women percussionists with roots in Brazil, Jamaica, Venezuela, Cuba, India, Korea, Japan and First Nations.

Women in Percussion showcases groundbreaking international and local percussionists who have defied the social norms that have historically deterred many women from pursuing drumming and percussion. While the featured artists are based in diverse musical traditions and genres, they all draw strength from studying, performing and mastering percussive arts and share a passion for music education, especially for young women musicians.

Most of the artists in the festival tell stories about how they were discouraged or even forbidden from studying drumming because of their gender and how they have overcome these challenges to follow their calling as percussionists. The festival is a testament to their courage and dedication in pursuing their chosen instruments as well as to how they can inspire other women to explore the power of percussion.

Women in Percussion is presented in collaboration with The Aga Khan Museum, Small World Music and Emerging Young artists.


Thursday Sep 26 - Opening Night

Y Josephine + Joy Lapps-Lewis + Aline Morales & Vulvas + Adriana Portela

A night of tropical percussion featuring a special guest from Bahia, Brazil.

Doors Open: 6:00 pm / Show Starts: 7:00 pm.

$15 adv | $20 at the door | Limited early bird tickets for $10

Presented in partnership with Small World Music

Friday Sep 27

Lady Son (aka Yeti Ajasin) + Magdelys Savigne with Havana Ventu

Cuban son, salsa and salsa by leading Toronto women percussionists.

Doors Open: 6:30 pm / Afterwork Concert with Lady Son Starts: 7:30 pm. / Dance Lesson Starts 9:00 pm / Salsa Concert with Havana Ventu Starts 10:15 pm.

FREE (arrive before 8:00 pm) $15 at the door after 8:00pm.

Presented in partnership with Toronto Hispano

Saturday Sep 28

Aki Takahashi

Join Aki at this interactive workshop to navigate the history and styles of Japanese Folk Music. Learn how to connect your body and energy with the rhythm of taiko and other traditional Japanese instruments such as bamboo flute and shamisen. Participants of all ages are welcome to develop their own dynamic strikes and let’s play hard with spirit! No registration required.

Doors open 12:00 pm / participatory workshop 2:00 pm / Concert starts at 3:00 pm


Presented in partnership with Emerging Young Artists.

Sunday Sep 29

Kim So Ra + Rajna Swaminathan

Exploring the dance between tradition and innovation in Korean and Indian inspired forms.

Doors Open: 6:00 pm / Show Starts: 7:00 pm.

$15 adv | $20 at the door | Limited early bird tickets for $10

Presented in partnership with Aga Khan Museum


Saturday Sep 28

12:00 pm - Rajna Swaminathan - Improve & Indian traditions FREE

Boston/New York-based mrudangam artist and composer leads an interactive workshop for all ages, using the basic elements of Indian music to explore rhythms and learn to improvise together. Participants will collaborate using their voices, bodies, and any instruments they choose to bring.

2:00 pm - Aki Takahashi - Japanese folk percussion FREE

Sunday Sep 29

1:00 pm - Y Josephine - cajon - FREE

Learn about the history and role of the cajon through this interactive workshop that uses body percussion to lead us through a basic introduction to this versatile instrument. Participants of all ages will create a joint composition and sing it together!

Monday Sep 30

8:00 pm Adriana Portela - Brazilian Samba Reggae - $20 at the door


Please note that reservations guarantee seating, so book early and enjoy the show while exploring Lula’s delicious tropical fusion dinner and cocktail menus as well as their wine and beer offerings. To reserve call 416 588 0307 | e-mail info@lula.ca or reserve online


Adriana Portela

A leading figure in the samba-reggae movement of Salvador, Bahia, Adriana Portela was the first woman to conduct a samba-reggae ensemble in Brazil. An accomplished percussionist, drummer and a founding member of the band Didá, Adriana has played alongside Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Simone, Elza Soares, Carlinhos Brown, Shakira, Daniela Mercury, Margareth Menezes, Milton Nascimento and Vanessa da Mata.

Follow Adriana Portela on Facebook.

Aki Takahashi

A member of Nagata Shachu since 2003, Aki Takahashi also now serves as the ensemble’s associate artistic director. A highly-accomplished Japanese shamisen player, composer, choreographer and singer, Aki studied traditional folk music in Kyoto. As a soloist she has been invited to give shamisen and vocal performances and workshops across Canada and the US. From 2007 to 2011, Aki taught taiko at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition to her solo activities, Aki is the founder of the Japanese folk ensemble ten ten, which has released two CDs of original music.

Follow Aki Takahashi on her website.

Aline Morales & Vulvas

Brazilian-Canadian percussionist, composer and vocalist Aline Morales debuts a new project featuring percussion and horns. Since arriving in Canada in 2003, Morales has become well known locally as a dynamic singer, percussionist and bandleader. Her debut release Flores, Tambores e Amores (2011) was met with widespread critical acclaim, reached number one on Canada’s Folk/World charts and earned a Juno nomination for Best World Music Album.

Follow Aline Morales on Facebook.

Photo by Michael Zender.

Joy Lapps-Lewis

Lapps-Lewis' pan-driven ensemble explores Afro and Latin-Caribbean Jazz with a hint of R&B and soul. Musician, composer and arts educator, Lapps Lewis has released four recordings, with a new release scheduled for later this fall. Throughout the year she delivers arts education in schools, libraries and community spaces and in the summer of 2019 launched From Skin to Steel and Beyond, an arts education, creation and performance project presented in collaboration with the Evergreen Brick Works. The project will culminate with a free multidisciplinary performance at the CRH Gallery in November.

Follow Joy Lapps-Lewis on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

Kim So Ra

A multi-award winning Korean traditional percussionist, composer, and ambassador of Honam Province Jeongeup folk music, Kim So Ra is one of the most skilled and prominent Janggu (Korean double-headed drum) players in Korea. Kim is known for her genre-bending performances combining Korean traditional sounds with creative, charismatic and modern interpretations. Kim has performed at SXSW, WOMEX, and Mundial Montreal as official showcase artist. Her latest album, A Sign of Rain was nominated for the Best Jazz & Crossover Album at the Korean Music Awards 2019.

Follow Kim So Ra on Instagram & Facebook.

Lady Son

One of the most arresting voices on the Canadian music scene, often drawing comparisons the legendary Celia Cruz and Cesari