This interactive workshop offers a brief introduction on the role of plants in making Caribbean Music. After tracing the history of materials, sounds, and rhythms, from the earliest written accounts of Indigenous Areito ceremonies to modern Afro-Puerto Rican bomba performances in the batey, participants will engage in an interactive music and dance demonstration—which will culminating in a freeform drum circle jam session.
About the Speaker
Kenneth R. Otero-Walker is an ethnobotanist, culture bearer, and cultural activist who engages in ethnobotanical research, which focuses on the spiritual use and significance of plant resources. A native of New York’s inner city and a graduate from Brooklyn Tech, one of NYC’s specialized public high schools, he has completed a degree in Latin American and Caribbean studies with a minor in Africana studies from SUNY Binghamton. He has presented internationally on topics related to Ethnobotany.
He is currently a Project Manager for the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium on an NSF-funded grant to secure, digitize, and increase access to biocultural collections previously housed in NYBG’s Institute of Economic Botany.