Rhythm Muse

RhythmMuse is an all Women’s drum ensemble located in California’s Bay Area. Being born in the Bay, RhythmMuse reflects the rich culture of its environment and embodies various musical genres like samba (insert genres) and (inset genres) from Brazil, and popular rhythms like 6/8 and volusodom from West African. RhythmMuse is unique in that we fuse these traditional sounds with the contemporary beats of hip-hop, funk, and R&B. RhythmMuse’s matches its joyful, vibrant, and powerful sound with gigantic and majestic movements and choreography.Rhythm Muse 2

 

RhythmMuse ensemble was created to demonstrate how women are dynamic, artistic, powerful, and fierce. The drum has been an instrument that has historically been forbidden for women. Drumming provides a voice, to women, a way to make noise, and express ourselves on a rhythmic, spiritual and political level. Movement, Art, and music is a vital tool of expression and a way for communities to heal.

 

Striving for artistic mastery is at the heart of Rhythm Muse’s mission. In a time when women are not seen typically as leaders, we want to create a collective of emerging masters to show our community and the larger world that women hold knowledge, and have great capacity to be leaders and to use art as a way to express love and healing and power.

Artists

Jasmine Williams

Jasmine Williams, a Bay Area native, is a dancer, percussionist and artist. Raised in a family of artists and teachers who respect and appreciate cultural diversity, she has been exposed to a broad spectrum of art forms and developed a strong interest in Brazilian culture. She has studied Afro Brazilian dance and percussion with Carlos Aceituno founder of Fogo Na Roupa, Julio Remelexo of Ile Aiye, Regina Calloway, Sonja Travick and Heather Watkins. As a seamstress, she has shadowed the lovely Gloria Toolsie as her apprentice with focus on traditional Trinidad carnival costume construction under ACTA,The Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

 

Jasmine has recently co-founded RhythmMuse Women’s Bateria; a collective of beautiful woman promoting women’s empowerment within community. As a choreographer, she teaches World Dance for the Oakland Unified School District

Heather Watkins

Heather Watkins is a visual artist, musician, dancer, teacher and a California native. Her development as an artist has been strongly influenced and nurtured by her family. She inherited a deep respect and value for diverse forms of art and world cultures that continue to positively influence her life. The arts have been an integral part of her family’s traditions and have served as a mode of self-expression, sharing history, celebration, cultural pride and social activism.

 

Heather received a B.A. in Social Studies from the University of California Berkeley. She has collaborated on several mural projects and visual art installations in the Bay Area. She was a member of Escola Nova de Samba, Fogo Na Roupa, and Ceedo Senegalese Dance Company. She toured internationally with Mingus Amungus as a percussionist and dancer, performing in the Berlin Jazz Festival, International Instanbul Jazz Festival, Monterrey Jazz Festival, Belgium, Cuba, as well as, numerous Bay Area venues. She currently plays piano, guitar and sings Jazz, Brazilian and R &B.

 

Heather has worked with youth and the arts for 28 years facilitating visual arts, music, dance, and theater classes and performances in several school programs throughout the Bay Area. She co-founded Loco Bloco and served as the Artistic Director and an instructor for over 18 years. Over and over again, Heather has experienced the positive impact of art and the creative process and continues to utilize the arts to enhance well-being and foster self-esteem, awareness, healthy relationships, positive perspectives and possibilities.

Aura Urbina

Aura Urbina was born and raised in San Francisco, CA in the heart of the mission. Her love for music began when she was a little girl. She was very shy growing up but at the age of 16 she was introduced to Loco Bloco, a drum and dance ensemble, and her life was never the same. Loco Bloco SF introduced her to the performance of music, theater and dance. She has traveled extensively and has been blessed to perform in places like Cuba, Chicago, Guatemala and all around the bay area. With the ensemble, she has drummed for many events, some of which include SF Mardi Gras 2004, Carijama Fest 2004, Reggae on the River & Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2004, SF Giants & Oakland Raiders Pre-Game Shows 2005, Carlos Santana Milagro Foundation Concert 2005, Lauryn Hill at the Great American Music Hall 2006 & Caja Ludica Encuentro De Arte Comuntario, 2007.

 

Driven by her lifelong passion to grow as an artist/musician she became a part of RhythmMuse. Art is central in her life and she is so excited to be among these amazing, talented and gorgeous women whom she admires very much. Drumming is an important part of her life and she hopes that, together they will serve as positive role models, create a fun and safe environment in which they can extend their skills and expand their knowledge. RhythmMuse is a place where she can let herself shine, rock out on some drums, interact and spread love to her community.

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