The royal hartigan ensemble plays original and historic compositions in the African American tradition. We adapt elements of world cultures into our playing, including Indian solkattu rhythms and tala (time cycles); Javanese gamelan structures; Philppine kulintang ensemble instruments and timbres, Turkish usul and hand drum techniques; Gaelic bodhran rhythms, Native American songs; West African instruments, melodies, and rhythms; African American clapping plays, camp meeting shouts, and New Orleans rhythms.

Our music is a vehicle to express the spirit of the African American heritage and the musics of the world, who we are, and what we have been given from our ancestors.

We do lecture-demonstrations and workshops as well as concerts. You can contact us at the address, telephone, or fax listed in my vita biography section.

Our double-compact disc Blood Drum Spirit is released on Transparent Records, and produced by John Hilton of Virtual Studios of Albany, N.Y. Its liner notes below define our style.

We have also created a video, Eve, with the people of Kopeyia and Tsiame villages in Ghana's Volta Region, and the people of the Arts Center in Ghana's capital city, Accra. This work shows the transcendance of African peoples despite the suffering and cruelty from external forces. It is produced by John Hilton and John Rafalak of Virtual Studios.

ensemble information

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for scheduling workshops, residencies, lectures, and performances, contact us at the royal hartigan