Artist in Residence from Ghana, West Africa
Chief drummer of the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe, Rasta Eddie is a founding member of the Slyboots School and a featured performer in SLYKUMU, Slyboots Drum Ensemble and On the Sly.
Artist in residence from Nigeria
Kasumu has been organizing workshops in African Drum/Dance, Chess, Martial Arts, Computers, and Finance for after/in school programs in WNY for over a decade. He is a wonderful drummer and a patient teacher.
Artist in Residence from Guinea, West Africa
Drum & Dance Instructor/Performer
Mohamed Diaby began playing the djembe at age seven, under the supervision of his elder brother Moustapha. By fifteen, Mohamed joined Africa Djole, led by Fode Yulla. Mohamed later joined Les Merveilles de Guinea as lead drummer, touring all over West Africa, including Sierra Leone. Kemoko Sano, Artistic Director of the world famous troupe Les Ballet Africains, requested Mohamed to join his troupe. In April of 1995 Mohamed arrived in America to play at New York City’s Symphony Space. Today, Mohamed travels around the world teaching and performing as is a featured teaching artist at the Slyboots School.
Artist in Residence from Ghana, West Africa
Born in Ghana, West Africa, Eric made a name for himself at an early age dancing in traditional and contemporary styles. Winning several dance competitions in Ghana and performing with a variety of internationally touring Hip Life groups, Eric took his career to all new heights when he was invited to study acrobatics in China for a year. Since that time he has toured extensively through Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, England, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Denmark and the US. Eric serves as a principal member and choreographer of the Slyboots Circus and works as a teaching artist with the Slyboots School on a variety of volunteer and community outreach programs.
Scott is an artist based in Buffalo, NY. He graduated with a BFA in sculpture from Fredonia State University in 2006. Bye’s work incorporates both found materials as well as the creative fabrication of unlikely structures that are produced from everyday objects. The viewer may be intrigued not only by the peculiarity and unfamiliarity of what they see, but may also be ‘drawn in’ by the recognition of commonality that weaves itself throughout his work. Scott exhibits his work regionally in the Western New York area. His work can be found in galleries, homes, festivals and schools across the New York State region as well as Buffalo of WNY. www.sculpturebyeescott.com
Audio & Lighting Engineer
DMG aka Rockstar Dave is a founding member of the Slyboots School- working together to produce innovative and astounding events since 2003 in Fredonia, NY. Dave is the owner and operator of Ripe Audio, a Buffalo, NY based company that provides services for event production and promotion – including: sound reinforcement, sound recording, event lighting, and audio engineering. You can find more information here: http://www.rockstardave.com/_ripe/
Ashley is a multidisciplinary creative from Niagara Falls, NY with a passion for people and the arts. As a mover she has dabbled in many dance forms, acrobatics, aerials and is known for her high energy and improvisational technique. She is a founding member of the Slyboots Circus and has traveled to Ghana on the Slyboots Adventure Abroad in 2012.
Work shops, classes, performances and more: http://ashleyvitaverde.weebly.com/.
Video Production, Projection and Photography
Since the first SLYFEST in 2005, Jordan Lema has been astounding audiences with his artistic and technical abilities. Bringing live performances to the next level is only a small bit of what Jordan is known for in WNY and beyond.
Andrew began his path of music at age 6; first on the piano, but he quickly spread himself across the viola, trumpet, guitar, and bass. He has been studying the bass (both upright and electric) since age 12 while performing in a variety of jazz bands, orchestras, and Youth Symphonies along the way. With a strong background in Classical and Jazz he continues his musical journey at SUNY Fredonia, and ever since has been studying Music Composition and Music Business there. Andrew’s prolific bass styles provides much of the melodic groove that gives On The Sly their unique sound and high-energy saturation.
Teaching Artist, Sculpture, Painting, Drawing
Larry Griffis III – is a renowned sculptor in WNY as well as an alumnus of Goddard College. Well known for his work on the family legacy, the Griffis Sculpture Park, Mr. Griffis studied in Italy earlier in his career and has a lifelong interest in sculpture. He worked for Fisher-Price, Hasbro and Toy Biz. Mr. Griffis works in life-size bronze sculptures, some of which adorn the HSBC Arena, John Carol University, Canisius College, and have been collected by many other private collectors and institutions. He runs multi-session mini-sculpture courses with various schools and institutions and is a featured teaching artist at the Slyboots School.
Trombones, Brass & Vocals
Peter’s musical education continued at Fredonia State University, where he received a Bachelor’s in Bass Trombone Performance with a Jazz Concentration. While there, he took advantage of the many ensembles available, including orchestras (from chamber orchestra to choral masterworks), jazz ensembles, vocal ensembles, and jazz combos. He learned and performed with artists as wide-ranging as Jim Self and Yo-Yo Ma, and grew immensely under , Jeff Dee, Ray Stewart, and Bruce Johnstone’s tutelageThrough his musical pursuits, Peter has had opportunities to travel the world, and has toured the East Coast, Puerto Rico, and Ghana – West Africa. He’s been a sideman for touring groups such as “The Town Pants”, and “Preach Freedom & Connect” and is currently writing and arranging for a variety of groups including “The Fredtown Stompers” – a trad-jazz group based in Buffalo, and “The Intension Ensemble”
Teaching music has long been a passion of Peter’s. He attended Signature Music Camp at Ithaca College for 5 years and became a councilor shortly thereafter. Here, he taught Tuba and Low Brass classes, and he continued on to teach 3 semesters of trombone secondary classes at Fredonia. He is proficient in all brass instruments including trumpet, french horn, trombone and bass trombone, euphonium, and tuba.
Based in Buffalo, he continues to teach privately and perform extensively in Western New York and surrounding areas.
Dance, Performance, & Instruction
Aaron Water seeks to inspire and empower through dance, movement and drama teaching, facilitation and performance. He has been involved in theatre, musicals and choir since his youth. He started house dancing 13 years ago. From there his passion carried him into studying ballet, modern dance, capoeira and jazz. He has danced on concert stages, in art galleries, on the beach, in the forest, in boots, barefoot, on the street, in sneakers, for free, for large fees and for change, in make-up and in masks, and numerous combinations of these. While continuing his ballet and modern dance training, he has more recently included in his dance: Tai chi, Afro-Caribbean dance, corporeal mime (with Marceau student, Vincent O’neill), breakin’, poppin’, contact improvisation, Kung fu, robotting and cartoon character animation. He has been giving and receiving healing touch consciously and studiously for as long as he’s been dancing and has studied Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), Myoskeletal Realignment Technique, Myofacial Release, Joint Plunging and Deep Tissue massage with master bodyworker, Silas Barr. He has also studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming from NLP master, Jerry Stocking. One of his favorite roles is as impromptu little kids dance party facilitator at the park, teaching hip hop footwork to eight year-olds while grooving to Jackson 5 tunes.
Aaron is also a poet/ writer for 20 years and a farmer. He is available to perform solo or in a group, teach dance classes, facilitate movement workshops, provide healing bodywork, and much more.
Dance, Performance, & Instruction
Ringo Brill is a professional percussionist who is active in many ensembles, including the The Slyboots Circus, The Slyboots Drum Ensemble, 12/8 Path Band, Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra, La Marimba, and Diaspora Drumming. Music related travels have taken him to Cuba, Indonesia, and West Africa.
Founder, Educator, Performer
Oswego native, Griffin James Brady, has a Master of Arts degree from Goddard College with a focus in Ethnomusicology and Music Pedagogy. His masters thesis and adjoining musical method books were inspired by his work as a touring musician and educator with groups such as the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe of Ghana, West Africa. Upon founding the Slyboots School of Music, Art & Dance in Buffalo, NY in 2006, Griffin has been teaching and performing in over 800 Universities, Colleges, High Schools, Elementary Schools and clubs across the United States promoting the Slyboots mission- “positive social change through cultural arts education and performance. Bringing the world together, on the sly.” In addition to his touring efforts, Griffin also works as a teaching artist in WNY schools, has been a featured speaker at various panel discussions and events including the Ted X Buffalo conference and he also organizes and implements a study abroad program that has brought WNY students to Africa nearly every summer since 2010. Griffin is also widely known for the community events that he produces including weekly drum and dance classes and the annual multi-day music, art and dance festival– SLYFEST– as well as his audio production work in association with Ripe Audio at Nights Of Fire, Bidwell Park, Larkin Square and Buffalo Ironworks.
In addition to performing and directing the resident ensembles at the Slyboots School; The Slyboots Circus & The Slyboots Drumming Ensemble– Griffin has performed, recorded and sat in with a wide range of artists such as; Bernard Woma and the Saakumu Dance Troupe, Mohamed Diaby and Manding Foli Kan Don, Cyro Baptista, Brian Marsalis, Billy Martin and the UB Percussion Ensemble, Northern Choral Society featuring the Malawi Youth Choir, DJ Logic, Bernard Purdie, Critt’s Juke Joint, Surprise me Mr. Davis with Marco Benevento, The Slip and Nathan Moore, One World Tribe, The Manhattan Project, Toubab Krewe, The Mike Dillon Band, Saranaide, The MK Groove Trio, Sophistafunk, Babik, 12/8 Pathband, Family Funktion and the Sitar Jams, Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Sophistafunk, Funktional Flow, The Jony James Blues Band, Brownman, Folkfaces, RiShon Odell Northington, Type Relevant, Effective Resolution, Larry LZ Dillon, Andrew Moore, Mike Sisto, Tiger Chung Lee, Cinnamon Aluminum, Caveman, Ramforinkus, The Joseph Glarner Jazz Band, Dennis Cicak, Subsoil, House on a Spring, Dali’s Ghost, Slip Madigan, Universe Shark, Adam Bronstein’s Freehand Band, The Buddhahood, Randle and the Late Night Scandals, Little Mountain Band, Working Man’s Dead, Dead Alliance Buffalo, Black and Blues Band, Lake View Effect, New Clear Fusion, One Love Marley Project, Brian DeAngelo Ensemble, Michael King Project, John McConnell, The Garafolo Brothers, FJE, Big Sauce Trio, Made in America, Blue Saturn and more.
Master Musician & Educator
Bernard Woma has shared the performance stage with renowned artists such as Maya Angelou, Yo Yo Ma, and Glen Velez. He has performed for international dignitaries and presidents such as U. S. president Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II. He was recently honored as the cultural resource person for President Barack Obama’s family when they visited Ghana. He is a true cultural treasure from Ghana who has toured the world as xylophonist and lead drummer of the Natiorinal Dance Company of Ghana. Bernard is the founder of the Dagara Music Center in Ghana, West Africa and director of the resident ensemble, SAAKUMU.