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Sunkwa Band Members
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Written by KOFI AMEYAW   
Jan 09, 2008 at 10:19 PM
amedrumKofi Ameyaw is a natural born performer/educater. As a drummer, he is noted for his sensitivity and passion for bringing joy to people through music. A native of Ghana, he began his musical career at the age of nine, and was introduced to many styles of African and other style of international music. Kofi started playing with the world-renowned Pan-African Orchestra and toured throughout Ghana, Zimbabwe & South Africa.  Performing at major venues in the U.S., Canada, U.K. & other countries throughout Europe. As an educator, Kofi teaches different styles of African music, privately and at various schools and universities in the U.S. Kofi is currently teaching African Ensemble at Eastern Michigan University, summer music and dance program at MSU (Explore Africa), Lake Orion Community  Drum  Clinics and TMU Music Studio in W. Bloomfield. Kofi Ameyaw has performed with the New York PhilHarmonics at the Avery Fisher Hall, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.  


 Issa Sall (bass, bass-kalimba) is one of the Detroit areas most in demand bass players. He was exposed to many styles of African music while growing up in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, West Africa. He began playing the electric bass after moving to the United States and has developed a unique style shaped by intensive study of virtuoso players from America, Africa, and the Caribbean. In Boston, Issa was a member of Senegalese guitarist Pascal Bokar's jazz ensemble and Merida Castilloís salsa group.



Interweaving various guitar styles and techniques of classical, blues, be-bop, rock and flamenco in an innovative compositional tapestry, Geoff Esty offers a bold and colorful approach to the guitar. Diverse threads of technique such as classical fingerpicking, bottleneck, and Chapman-stick style fingertapping intersect at the point of surprisen and delight. Mr. Esty began learning classical and jazz guitar around 1982. Since then, he went on to study other guitar aces like A. Spencer Barfield, and has performed regularly in art fairs, cultural festivals, performed live on WCBN-FM in Ann Arbor, WJR-AM in Detroit. Awards won include: Best Guitar at the statewide 1984 School Jazz II festival in Michigan and the Aurora Borealis Award for Jazz Artist of the Year (1999).www.cdbaby.com/cd/esty
   Ai Yumiba began her musical career at the age of three. At age ten, she started performing, learning, improvising on more advanced chord taught to her by Daddy. She holds a Bachelor Arts in Music from Japan, Masters Degree in Music Education from  Murray State University, and working on another Masters Degree in Music Ed as Professional Development from Oakland University.  Ai has been teaching music both privately and in group sessions, she is currently teaching at TMU Music Studio, Himawari  Pre-School and Piano preparatory division at Oakland University. Ai Yumiba recently presented at the ISME 2008 which took place in Italy.
  Miguel J. Gutierrez is an explosive and dynamic percussionist, who is equally well versed in a variety of styles. Miguel has studied with a number of noteworthy percussionists, including Normal Fickett, principle percussionist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Joe Cusatis of the Modern Drum Shop in New York City, Sonny Emory (formerly with Earth, Wind, and Fire), drummer extradonaire Johnny Rabb, and the late Art Blakey, of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. In addition to this, he has attended Master Classes with Jose Luis Quintana (Changuito) from Cuba, Rick Latham, author of Advanced Funk studies & Contempory Drum set studies, Chad Wackerman (formerly of Frank Zappa), Billy Cobham, internationally acclaimed percussionist, and Jeff Hamilton (world renowned jazz drummer). Miguel is the owner and founder of Professional Drum and Percussion Studies in Detroit (www.prodrumstudies.com), and has taught drums and percussion for over 31 years in Metropolitan Detroit’s finest music stores. He is also a member of the Percussive Arts Society. Miguel has been an instructor with Meditation Outreach, instructing the visually impaired, and has also served as a faculty member at William Tyndale Christian College.

At age twenty-one, Miguel performed with the late, great jazz guitarist Grant Green, at the world famous Bakers Keyboard Lounge. Since that time, he has appeared with the trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, internationally known vocal group The Fifth Dimension, as well as numerous performances at both the Sands and Bali Hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He has performed with Motown vocal artist’s The Fabulous Falcons. Other luminaries he has performed with include world renowned fusion violinist Michel Urbaniak (vocalist for Count Basie), David Ruffin (on Warner Brothers label), and Detroit’s own vocalist extraordinaire, Aretha Franklin. Miguel was featured as percussionist for the theatre production of Perilous Times, starring Vickie Winans. He has also performed with Brazilian Trumpeter & Flugelhornist, Claudio Roditi, an integral member of Tito Puente’s group, as well as the late Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. Miguel can be heard for percussion with world renowned vocalist Nancy Wilson (on Sony Record Label).

Along with performing and instructing, Miguel does studio sessions and drum/percussion clinics from elementary through professional levels, television and radio programs. He is the leader of his own Detroit based world rhythm jazz group “Truth”, which featured the late, great bassist Hubie Crawford (formerly with Earl Klugh). Truth has performed both nationally and internationally, including at the Montreaux Detroit, Pontiac, Idle Wild, Lansing Jazz Festival, and Flint Jazz Festivals. Earlier this year (2009), Miguel performed cajons, congas, drumset, talking drum, and djembe with mridantam percussionist Guruvayur Durai at Oakland University. Guruvayur Durai has played with Ravi Shankar, Allah Rakha, and Zakir Hussain.


Last Updated ( Sep 26, 2009 at 06:35 PM )