Session I: 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 10th
The Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra (PVYSO) has been sharing its melodies nationally and internationally since 1996. The orchestra was started in the suburban basement of founder Lorna Green with 14 students and some steel pans. At the end of two weeks the group had completed the “Star Spangled Banner” and performed the piece for the Olympic torch ceremony passing through Largo, MD. Within a year the group relocated to Hyattsville, MD and the rest is history.
This group of energetic young performers has toured nationally and internationally, including performances in Dakar, Senegal; Trinidad and Tobago; Ontario, Canada; Chicago, IL; and New Haven, CT.
Notable venues include the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music Center, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Zora Neale Hurston Festival, The Virginia Beach International PANfest (grand champions 2006, 2007, 2018) and countless other public and private performances. The young entertainers have performed with world renowned musicians including steelpan virtuosos Liam Teague, Robert Greenidge, Andy Narell, saxophonist Arturo Tappin, and Grammy nominated trumpeter, Etienne Charles.
The orchestra is comprised of approximately 15 students, ranging in age from 11-18, who attend the Saturday Academy hosted by the Cultural Academy for Excellence. Members of the orchestra study music theory, steelpan, as well as learn a wide variety of music.
Over the years PVYSO has had the pleasure of having over 500 students grace its instruments. Arguably one of the best steel orchestra’s in the Mid-Atlantic region, they also proudly state that their parent organization, CAFE is “one of the best charities of the Greater Washington region” – Catalogue for Philanthropy 2007-2008.
Session II: 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Thursday, March 11th
The Legon Palmwine Band is a young and exciting exponent of the palmwine music tradition and their appearance on the local music scene in Ghana have revitalized a music tradition that was on the brink of fading. The band consists of a dynamic and versatile group of young men whose love for music and their cultural heritage has led them to carry on the works of pioneers of palmwine music including the legendary Koo Nimo.
The band brings a contemporary interpretation to a music tradition that is characterized by intricate rhythmic fingerpicking fused with indigenous Akan “anansesem” storytelling style, and laced with local vocal harmonies. The band is well established on the live music scene of Ghana and was the feature of CNN’s inside Africa in early 2018. They continue to participate in several festivals including one they host annually in October, Nsadw’ase Music Festival.
The band recently launch its maiden project, titled “Legon Abrabo” (university life), which appear to have captured many audiences both local and international. The members of the band are Samuel Agyeman Boahen (guitar and vocals); Edwin Akwei Brown (kpanlogo drums [percussion], vocals); Seth Kpodo (vocals, guitar, frikyiwa [castanet]); Albert Owusu Brown (vocals, shakers, premprensiwa); and Eric Sunu Doe (guitar, premprensiwa, vocals).