The Hawaii-based percussion collective Barabajaba, have produced an album that is both exceptional and deeply innovative. The interweaving of soulful grooves and intriguing melodic vocals highlight the connection between ancient rhythmic themes and modern interpretations.
“Rise Up” is thirteen tracks of truly inspiring cross cultural percussion arrangements showcasing the seasoned musicality of percussionists/producers Michael Pluznick and Jesse Seymour. Smooth transitions and clever orchestration add a melodic sense to these ancient rhythms.
This album presents an all star cast of vocalists including Peter De Jesus, Puerto Rican born Priest of Santeria, veteran San Francisco Bay Area percussionist/vocalist Yagbe Onilu and the sensuous voice of up and coming diva Zahira. In addition the vocal work of Jesse Seymour and Boaz Martin add ever more diversity to this exciting album giving a unique atmosphere to each track.
“Rise Up” features a myriad of percussion instruments such as the Surdo(Brasilian Bass Drum), Djembe, Dunduns and Bougaraboo of West Africa, Congas, Timbales and of course the mystic sound of the Bata drums of Cuba.
This CD is a must have for everyone and is an invitation to move your body and shake your soul.
Jesse Seymour has established himself as a talented, innovative and diverse percussionist. A recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music, he currently resides on the Big Island of Hawaii where he teaches and performs regularly.
Jesse began playing drum set at the age of fifteen. Shortly thereafter he acquired a Conga and a Djembe and was immediately enamored with the richness and complexity these instruments held. From that moment on he has committed what is now fifteen years of his life to extensive study of numerous percussion styles from Cuba, West Africa, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Brasil, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Congo.
Seymour has studied and performed with numerous master percussionists including Giovanni Hidaalgo, Ernesto Diaz of Mango Blue and La Timba Loca, Eggui Castrillo Conguero for Arturo Sandoval, Reynaldo Gonzales of Groupo Afro Cuba, and Mohammed Diaby Master Djembefola from Guinea West Africa. He has traveled to the Caribbean and Brasil in pursuit of his studies as well as New York, Boston, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Jesse is known for his ability to play with precision in traditional contexts, as well as to bring the rich African roots into both experimental and contemporary music. In addition, He can be found collaborating with top Dj’s blending his grooving and melodic conga playing with many electronic styles. In the fall of 2007 Seymour joined the roster of talented percussionists endorsing Hawaii based drum company Volcano Percussion.
Over the past few years he has proven himself a mature and innovative bandleader. In his Boston based Latin Jazz group Septeto Tumbao, Jesse arranged his own compositions as well as classic Jazz standards with the complex rhythms of Cuba. Also, he recently formed a spectacular Hawaii-based Cuban style percussion group known as Tambito. This show incorporates original compositions, drum dialogs, burning solos, and the music of Santeria.
Seymour has shared the stage with many well known artists such as Celia Cruz, Mohammed Camara(Tata Denke)), Eggui Castrillo(Tito Puente Tribute Orchestra), Baaba Mall, Rolando Sanchez(Salsa Hawaii), Ray Vega(Orchestra La Pasion), Moussa Bangoura(Sewa Fare), Reynaldo Gonzales(Raices Negras), Assane and Ousseynou Kouyate(Griots Kouyate), and Erin Harpe(Lovewhip). He has played in top venues including Lincoln Center NYC, BBC London, Carnival Center Miami, Holland Music Festival, Casa De Musica Oporto Portugal, Maritime Hall San Francisco, House of Blues, Cambridge Ma. In addition to his vast performing experience he has recorded on numerous albums including “Rise Up”, Naked Drummer Studios, “Yerewolo”, Tata Denke and Mali Music Productions, “Live Booty Pop” and “Bouncehall” Juicy Juju Records, “Salsa from Hawaii” Quiet Storm Records, “Dissent” Wide Hive Productions, “Soul Retrieval” ROG Records, and “Tribute” First Circle Productions.
Jesse continues to tour the world regularly with Orchestra La Pasion Segun San Marcus led by internationally acclaimed composer Osvoldo Goljov. He continues to use his diverse knowledge of rhythm to participate in some of the most cutting edge music of this time.
Michael Pluznick has been playing, perforning, producing and recording music from around the globe for over 30 years. He has collaborated, recorded and/or performed with members of the Grateful Dead, Santana, Bruce Springstein and Todd Rundgren to list a few. His in depth studies in percussion and world music have taken him to West Africa, Cuba, Brasil and Puerto Rico. He has performed with Les Percussions Melenke in the San Francisco Bay Area where he was one of three lead percussionists with master drummer Bolokada Conde. His own albums have won several awards and "Rythm Harvest" was in Billboards top 20 albums.
Peter “Pedro” De Jesus is a Puerto Rican born priest of Santeria and is an internationally respected percussionist, vocalist, healer and psychic. He has spent extensive time in Cuba working closely with masters of folklore and religion.
Yagbe Onilu is a master of many percussion styles including Haitian, Cuban, and West African. With over thirty years experience in the S.F. Bay Area he has played and recording with numerous artists.
Boaz Martin has over 20 years experience studying and performing numerous ethnic music styles throughout Hawaii and abroad. As an accomplished Tabla player, he has brought the mystic music of North India to our repertoire. Boaz has studied with numerous masters from all over the world. In addition, Boaz plays the Berimbao, a single stringed bow instrument used in the music of Brasilian martial art, Capoeira.
Craig Kohland is a multi-percussionist, performer, DJ and a music and film producer. As owner of the Shaman's Dream Music Collective and producer of ten albums to date, Kohland is a true asset both on the stage and in the studio. Craig has also co-facilitated over 400 ecstatic dance/world music journeys since 1996 called "Zen Dancing Ritual Concerts"