HADLEY—The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues the 37th season ofWednesday Folk Traditions concert serieson Wednesday, June 20th with the return of Zikina, featuring Uganda native Gideon Ampeire playing an exciting fusion of Ugandan folk music with contemporary influences. This and all other performances are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley MA 01035. Admission is $12, $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museums grounds starting at 5:00 pm. The museum and its grounds are a smoke-free site. For further information please call (413) 584‑4699 or view www.pphmuseum.org .
Zikina seamlessly blends Gideon Ampeire’s intricate vocals and handmade instruments with rhythms and sounds from disparate cultures and parts of the world. Ampeire is joined by Mike Cardozo on guitar, Roston Kirk, bass, and Kade Parkin on drums. Building upon Ampeire’s musical and cultural heritage, Zikina weaves together intense grooves, joyous dance beats, and dreamy textures from Ampeire’s handmade East African harps, zithers, and thumb pianos. Zikina wishes its listeners to approach their music with curiosity, asking “What is that he’s playing?” and to enjoy the wide variety of sounds they’ve woven together and their interplay of traditional African music and modern sounds.
Ampeire enchants audience with a range of East African instruments that he builds himself—including enanga (zither), adungu (harp), and kalimba (thumb piano). An accomplished musician, he has established himself as a master instrument maker and educator on Ugandan folk music. In addition to performing with Zikina, Ampeire has spread Ugandan folk music as the leader of Echo Uganda, playing over the Northeast United States, Canada, and appearing at the United Nations. Now, he’s joined with other Pioneer Valley musicians trained in both traditional African music as well as jazz and funk to form Zikina.
Ampeire and Mike Cardozo met while studying West African drumming at Wesleyan University. They teamed up with bassist Roston Kirk and drummer Kade Parkin, to form Zikina. and to create a mix of new sonic textures that are completely new and unique. Cardozo specializes in Jazz and West African music, brilliantly bringing together a modern variety of sounds. Kirk studied film scores at Berklee School of Music, and Parkin is a versatile drummer who has studied fusion music and afro-beat; together they form Zikina’s ethereal rhythmic texture, bringing together East African beats with influence from other genres.
Wednesday Folk Traditions continues on June 27 with SayReal, a fusion of young musical revolutionaries and soul-searchers who embody a strong musical lineage and ignite a vibration of Reggae, Rock and meaningful lyric that narrate the lives of those listening. Founded in L.A. by Northampton native sister/brother Naia Kete and Imani Elija they have made a mark on the national scene with Naia’s top ten The Voice appearances.
The Porter-Phelps Huntingon Museum’s Wednesday Folk Traditions is funded, in part, by grants from: the Marion I. And Otto C. Kohler Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; the Amherst and Hadley Cultural Councils, local agencies, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; Eversource Energy, Easthampton Savings Bank and PeoplesBank and with generous support from many local businesses.