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Susu Pampanin & The Spirit of Sultana at Ashkenaz

  • Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center 1317 California 123 Berkeley, CA, 94702 United States (map)

Susu Pampanin: The Spirit of Sultana

Drums, Songs and Dance from Egypt, Morocco and beyond. Her heartbeat is her drum, her life stories are her songs, her dreams are her dances.

Spirit of Sultana uses songs, timeless melodies, intricate improvisations both melodic (taqasim), and vocal (mawwal, reminiscent of the ancient call to prayer) while highlighting the percussive sounds of its Middle Eastern rhythm section.

Spirit of Sultana will captivate you with alluring melodies, interwoven with rhythms from North Africa and the Middle East drawing inspiration from Andalusian, Tarab (Classic), Sufi, Popular and Folkloric genres. Spirit of Sultana aspires to take you to a far away place, where the spirit of the queen lives.

Susu Pampanin (percussion) artistic director

Amina Goodyear (percussion, dance)
Fatima Zohra Lahlou (Oud, vocals, percussion)
Mohini Rustagi (percussion)
TerriAnne Gutierrez (percussion, dance)

Tickets: $20 Advance / $25 Door.


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Ojalá which means ‘let it be so’ or ‘hopefully’ is a group of five diverse and talented Maestra female percussionists and vocal artists. This group of women is rich in experience and shares a passion for music and culture. Ojalá blends lushly harmonized original compositions and African American song, in a creative dialogue with Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and other percussion music of the Diaspora, including the music of the traditional Cuban Batá drums. 

Originally formed by Carolyn Brandy, the current group is: Amikaeyla Gaston, Regina Wells, Michaelle Goerlitz, Elizabeth Sayre, and Carolyn. This group came together in 2014 to travel to Santiago de Cuba upon an invitation to perform at the Encuentro de Mujeres Percusionistas at the 33rd annual Festival Del Caribe, the largest and oldest festival in Cuba.

Ojalá has also performed with Dr. Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra in 2015 for his work, 1945: A Year of Infamy; and for his most recent work, We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, premiered and performed in 2016. Members of the group also work regularly with the Susana Arenas Dance Company and has performed with her at the Diaspora Diner Concert at the Ashkenaz in Berkeley, CubaCaribe Festival, SF Salsa/Rueda Festival, and the Yemanja Festival held annually in Berkeley, CA.

Amikaeyla Gaston
Regina Wells
Carolyn Brandy
Jules Hilson
Michaelle Goerlitz
Elizabeth Sayre