outreach programs

  • Ongoing

    African drumming workshop with 9th-generation drummer

    outreach programs


    Free Entry

For nearly two decades Southwest Roots Music has been dedicated to providing free educational outreach activities for the community, including interactive demonstrations and workshops with internationally touring artists (such as a fiddle-drenched exposé on Cajun music by Bousoleil’s Michael Doucet), dance lessons (zydeco lessons prior to concerts by the likes of Buckwheat Zydeco), and in-school programs (interactive programs with  Carolina Chocolate Drops, Po’ Girl, Otis Taylor, and so on).

Our primary outreach program brings ninth-generation Nigerian drummer Akeem Ayanniyi into K-12 schools and community centers. Akeem heads the Santa Fe-based troupe Agalu, an ensemble from Nigeria that keeps alive traditional Yoruba stories, rituals and mythology through drumming, storytelling and dance. Akeem engages students in conversation about the continent of Africa, framed within his own personal story about growing in Nigeria. In addition to stories and song, he creates an onsite ensemble with the kids using the traditional talking drum, ashiko, djembe and bata drums. Akeem has toured much of the world and performed at the Smithsonian Institute; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe; Afrikadey! in Calgary; the New Mexico Jazz & International Music Festival; the International Folk Art Festival; and the Thirsty Ear Festival.

Akeem has worked with thousands of children, families, and staff through our outreach programs at Monica Roybal community center, Acorn Camp, Children’s Adventure Company, Santa Fe Public Library (La Farge, Southside and Main library branches), Pojoaque Valley Middle School, Aspen School, Salazar Elementary, Eldorado Elementary, E.J. Martinez Elementary, Mandela Intl. Magnet School, Nava Elementary, Chimayo School, Pojoaque High, Agua Fria Elementary, La Mariposa Montessori, Atalaya Elementary, Wood Gormley Elementary, Acequia Madre Elementary, and more.

If you are involved with a NM school or community organization and would like to take advantage of free Southwest Roots Music K-12 programming, please contact us at ThirstyEarFest@gmail.com.