Project Info

Project Description

Age: Adults & Teens, Ages 12 and Up
Type: Community Ensemble
Term: Fall | Spring
Term Length: 15 Weeks
Schedule: Saturdays at 3:30-4:15pm & 4:15-5pm
Duration: 45 Minutes
Class Size: 6
Price: $580 | $290 for Students Enrolled in Private Lessons
Prerequisite: No experience required
Instructor: Amos Kwaku Gabia (Fall) | Agustin Grasso (Spring)

No experience is necessary to join this class, where you will learn the basics of Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, South American and African drumming traditions while making music with others. Through call and response, language, repetition and layers, students will connect with the rich history and culture of various musical drumming traditions and learn basic hand drumming and percussion techniques. If you always wanted to play an instrument or learn drums, this is the perfect place to start. This program is for any level of student who wants to deepen their understanding of rhythms and cultures from around the world. BKCM supplies the percussion instruments and hand drums for this class.

*Spring Semester (Feb. – May 2023): South American Percussion with Agustin Grasso

Ritmos Latinoamericanos is a percussion journey through a variety of South American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and Uruguay. This class is for all levels and for anyone who wants to explore the rhythms, styles and instruments of these countries and broaden their understanding of the term “Latin American.”

Agustin Grasso, a native of Argentina, leads this class in a fun, jam-style setting. A variety of guests (both instrumentalists and singers) from these countries will join the class and help students dive deeper into the traditions of each region.

Each class begins with a warmup covering basic percussion technique. Students then focus on the “rhythm of the day” which they learn by following Agustin. Once students are comfortable, they begin to layer various parts together to make a full percussion ensemble. Students will also listen to recorded source material and learn language and historical contexts that connect to the musical origins. Agustin uses language as a tool to show how these rhythms from various regions are connected to each other. At the end of the semester, students will participate in a jam, sharing what they’ve learned.

*Fall semester: West African Drumming and Singing with Amos Kwaku Gabia

The fall semester of Global Beats will focus on West African Drumming and Singing taught by BKCM faculty member Amos Kwaku Gabia. Amos will teach students traditional West African repertoire on the djembe, dun dun and accompanying percussive instruments. Students will practice basic hand rhythms, drum etiquette, technique, form, style and improvisation. They will be introduced to the culture of various regions of Ghana through song, dance and storytelling.

Originally from Ghana, West Africa, musician and educator Amos Kwaku Gabia began performing with the Noko Yedzen group at an early age. He plays a variety of instruments including the djembe, dun dun, kpanlogo, flute, and asalato.

Amos is a founding member of Saha, Ekome Feemo African Drumming and performed with the award winning Salaka Ensemble. While still living in Ghana, he led programs for groups of travelers from around the world interested in learning about West African culture through its music and dance. Amos recently spent some time back in his homeland working with students and educators while learning from the masters. This was a very special trip for him and he’s looking forward to sharing his experiences with the BKCM community.

Interested in this class? Click HERE to fill out an interest form.
Financial aid is available for qualifying students. To apply please contact and fill out the financial aid application.
Community Ensembles and Classes

Come jam with us! The core values of “community” and “joy” are at the heart of these ensembles and classes, which feature a variety of genres and styles. A great place for students of different ages and experiences to come together to learn, play and spread joy and music.

Registration Info

Do you want to register for a class? Please call 718-622-3300 to speak to one of our registrars, who will guide you through the registration process and answer any questions you might have.

For complete information on our registration process and policies please click here