LADAMA is a music ensemble comprised of four musicians from across the Americas who strive to engage youth and other women in their respective communities in the process of music-making, sound design, composition and audio production. We aim to address gender inequality and unequal representation of women in all aspects of music education, industry and business. Through workshops and public performance we encourage all to express their humanity by building community through music.
As musicians we collaborate to create original compositions, bringing together the disparate elements of a traditional band while writing non-traditional music. LADAMA performs modern, soulful and vibrant original compositions that celebrate cross-cultural, Pan-American collaboration. South American and Caribbean rhythms such as cumbia, coco, maracatu, onda nueva and joropo run like currents through pop and soul-infused songs sung in Spanish, English and Portuguese. As educators and facilitators we draw from the specific cultural contexts of the communities that we hope to serve in order to provide a foundation for participants to use music as a basic form of personal expression to address issues pertinent to them.
In the fall of 2014, members of LADAMA met at OneBeat (http://1beat.org/) -- an initiative of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and curated by Found Sound Nation (http://foundsoundnation.org) -- a fellowship and residency where musicians from around the world can come together to focus on social engagement, sound production and composition in a collaboration-based setting. Initially conceived by Lara Klaus, Daniela Serna and Maria Gonzalez (LA-DA-MA) with the aim of working within countries in South America, LADAMA grew to include Sara Lucas in an effort to reach communities in North America as well. Out of this experience our project developed as a way to continue together as an active music ensemble that creates original work and socially engages communities on a global level.
In the spring of 2015, LADAMA received an AEIF (Alumni Exchange International Fund) grant to give public performances and hold residencies and workshops in our respective countries of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. With the additional help of a Performing Americas grant and a partnership with Paco do Frevo, LADAMA was able to tour Recife, Bogotá, Barquisimeto and Guanare in February and March of 2016. In May, we traveled to Brooklyn, New York for a residency as part of Found Sound Nation's curated programming in partnership with National Sawdust (http://nationalsawdust.org) and El Puente. Thanks in part to support from the Augustine Foundation and the Brooklyn Arts council, we were also able to work with students at La Casita Comunal in Sunset Park.
Stay tuned for more sounds from LADAMA. Here are the beginnings.
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez is a Barquisimeto-based multi-instrumentalist and journalist. After years of studying cuatro, mandolin and violin, Maria decided to take up the bandola llanera, an obscure Venezuelan instrument with well-known few female performers. She has performed internationally including the Festival of Música llanera the Silbón (Venezuela), the festival Girara de Oro (Colombia), the 32nd Music Office Curitiba (Brazil), The International Jazz Festival Barquisimeto (Venezuela) and Folklorico Summer Festivals (Portugal and Spain). She recently completed a European tour- traveling to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, France, and Italy- performing joropos, a traditional music of the high plains of Venezuela, with the ensemble Jirahara. She is currently enrolled at The University of Yacambú, Venezuela where she will receive a degree in social communication. She also teaches master classes on the bandola llanera and is working on codifying and writing a new universal teaching method for the instrument. Through performance and education and promotion of the bandola llanera on the scale of the Venezuelan cuatro and the joropo llanero, she seeks to promote the integration of women into the field of interpreting traditional Venezuelan music as it is one in which they are sorely underrepresented.
Lara Klaus is a Recife, Brazil-based percussionist, educator, drummer, singer and composer. Studying at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil) and Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal), Lara focused on mastering traditional percussion such as pandeiro, alfaia, zabumba and other world music instruments along with the rhythms of Northeast Brazil. She has played at festivals around the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Latino Americando (Italy) and Samba Festival (Germany). Lara has performed and taught all-ages workshops throughout South America, Europe and the United States. As a drummer and multi-instrumentalist, she has been featured in ensembles with renowned Brazilian musicians including Luciano Magno, Elba Ramalho, Roberto Mescal and Moraes Moreira. Lara is currently finishing a postgraduate course in Music Therapy and teaches music at Integrarte, a nonprofit which works with children and adults with Down Syndrome, where she is the music director of Maracaarte.
Daniela Serna is a Bogotá-based composer, percussionist, educator and sound artist. As both a performer and educator, she has spent the last ten years working with traditional Caribbean Colombian rhythms such as bullerengue, gaita, cumbia, porro and fandango music styles. Well versed in global rock and pop, her travels have taken her to Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina. She is the founder of La Perla an all-female Caribbean folk band, recent winners of the XXXI Festival de Gaita larga Francisco Llirene in Ovejas, Sucre. In 2014 she presented “Bullerengue Covers,” a sound installation exploring the sonics of tambour alegre (hand drum) and surrounding space for which El Puente, her experimental duo with Uva Lunera, composed the music. In 2012 she won a Señal Radio Colombia contest to perform with legendary folk-singer bullerengue queen Petrona Martínez.
Sara Lucas is a New York-based singer, songwriter and guitarist. As co-bandleader of Callers, a project she founded with multi-instrumentalist and composer Ryan Seaton, she has co-produced and released three full-length albums (Fortune, Life Of Love and Reviver) and a seven-inch split with Luaka Bop artist, Delicate Steve. They have toured Europe and North America headlining and supporting others such as Dirty Projectors, Here We Go Magic, ESG and Wye Oak and have shared stages with Nat Baldwin, Patti Smith, Arto Lindsey and Tune-yards. Callers has earned spots at festivals including Primavera Club (Spain), Tanned Tin Festival (Spain), Crossing Brooklyn Ferry at BAM (Brooklyn, NY), Festival de la Musica Nelle (Italy) and the Hillside Fest (Guelph, Ontario) and have played as guests on WNYC’s Soundcheck and Spinning On Air, VPRO in Amsterdam, Netherlands and the Dean Jackson Show on the BBC in Nottingham. In 2015 Lucas served as a facilitator for production workshops with youth in Brooklyn and Hudson, NY with Found Sound Nation and Hear Be Dragons. She is currently working on a solo record.
LADAMA will be touring and holding workshops in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and The United States in February-May of 2016. Hang tight for concert dates and workshops. In the meantime, you can check out our blog page for updates! If you would like to contact us, book us or be a part of our email list, please fill out the form below.
We want to thank all of the people who have supported our South and North American tours and activities in February- May of 2016. Without your financial backing we would not have been able to fully realize our project:
Mauricio Serna, Miria Oviedo Masset, Dahlak Braithwaite, Nikki Dillon, Gabriel Medina, Chuck Costello, Daniel de Mendoza, Amanda Gemmill, John Hicks, Reid Ramirez, Débora B. Alves, Joanie Taylor, Kevin Bay, Elizabeth Droste, Jose Erico Eloi Dantas, Santiago de Mendoza, Bonifacio de Oliveira, Loretta and Dennis De Santis, Laura Stein, Sandra Sitron, Anya Yurchyshyn, Marla LaMarca, Jonathan Chambers, Rory Ellinger, Sarah Alden, Quince, Barbara Heise, Leah Campbell, Matthew Schreiber, Jon Kardon, Art Middleton, Cassandra Burrows, Liz Carrero Rodriguez, Kyla Rose Smith, Bruno Guaraná, Sarah Bernstein, Braden Hassett, Jackie & Eddie D'Inzillo, Brynn Kusic, Natalia Silva, Jenn Wasner, Nan Leese, Sanaya Ardeshir, Chris Forsyth, Peter Kerlin, Hannah Devereux, Temijun Doran, Noah Blumensen-Cook, Todd Chandler, Mirah Zeitlyn, Sruly Lazaros, Rebekah Brown, Nicki Black, Rick Taylor, France Salia, Rosalyn Bodycomb, Hunter Bay, Douglas McQueen, Jennifer Nelson, Benjamin Mason, Milena, Marina Albuquerque, Brian and Dotti Ramey, Vanesa Albertos Ubierna, Anna Dunn, Hilary Ives, Nathalie Jordão, Michael Bourgeois, Rush & Stacy Simpson, Max Carneiro da Cuhna, Kevin Visnaskas, Greg Quirk, Mike Anderson, Leslie Boden, Emily Geller, Don Godwin, Daniel Hawks, Matt Bauder, Bill McCord, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Jerry Smolin, Gil Averneri, Carrie Reed, Julianna Barwick, Ben Berman, Jacqueline Farias, Sean LaRocca, Frederick Klass, Sharon Van Etten, Bob Coffey, Danny Mekonnen, Lee Eaton, Jane Virga, Jackie Zimmerman, Antônio de Hollanda, Kevin Bay Sr., New Orleans Coquelets, Derrick Belcham, Jason Schwartz, Dacus Thompson, Shawna Chaudhary, Ezra Tennenbaum, Tim Schmalz, Susan Sakash, Casey Coleman, Frieda Lim, K.C. Whitely, Nation Beat, Morley, Nate Powell, Isabelle Brabant, Quiana Myers-Vandrovec, Claudinho Santana, Lorraine Gnecco Legomsky, Andrea Franklin, Nancy Baglan, Michael Bennett, Emily Klass, Kuhn Laurent, Ryan Wilson, Anjali Munjali, Kevin McEvoy & Barbara Epstein, Luke Holladay, Hannah McKenzie-Marguiles, Elena Moon Park, Stan Rifken, Simone Baerenzten, Merica Moynihan, Nancy Mozier, Shelli Kastin, Becky Black, Karina Vahitova, Vivea McCutcheon, Craig Weinrib, Carla Rio, Newton Peres, Leonardo Salazar, Lucas Brandão, Fábio Pedrosa Barbosa, Gera Vieira, John Swecker, Emily Render, Ellen Bernard, Lauren Smith, Thomas Stephanos, Laughlin Siceloff, Cody Peterson, John Hale, Kathy Bay, Bonnie Tesson, Chris Eldridge, Molly Neuman, Neanna Lena Bodycomb, Laura DeFazio, Sara Moffat, Michael DeWolf, Alex Asher, Karen Grubb, Dave Muller, Goat in the Road Productions, Doug Crowell, Andrew Tarlow, Zopi Kristjanson, Kelly Mueller, Lawrence Ames, Michelle Brandone, Lara Ximenes, Kenneth Wiss, Katie Batchelder, Camilla Falconi Crispim, Allison Padilla-Goodman, Margaret Meyers, John Connolly, Jud Wellington, James Mulry, The Chapin Sisters, David Krouse, Pat Costello, Ryan Seaton, Amy Silverberg, Scott Willson, Lulu Wolf, Alicia Houk, Lauren Wilson, Julia Gillard, Beth Gill, Eva Salina Primack, Robert Witherow, Anna TerAvest, Alain De Beaufort, Luke Kummer, Danielle Amir Jackson, Sally Mara Sturman, Hillery Sklar, Natalia Díaz, Orville Lee, Julia Lucas, Brian Taylor, Courtney Simon De Monforrt, Johanna Bock, Willem, Maya Nayak, George Langford, Marcy Costello-Barnes, Greg Probst, Carol Ramm Gramenz, Richard Henry Blair, Sheryl Peterson, Aristóteles Camara, Marcal Pedrosa, Vancleide Jordao, Johanna Divine & Denise Gallagher, Gideon Crevoshay, Stephanie Villani, Curt Sydnor, Gloria Diaz, Thiago Lobo, Ricardo Cavalcanti, Guilherme Freire, Maria Eduarda C. Pena, Aaron Hodges & Sarah Pickle, Michael Levinson & Nicole Tesson, Julius Lang, Siena Oristaglio, Ananda Plunkett, Erin Clancy, TD Sidell, Christie Burns, Nathan Koci, and MaryAnn & Bruce Lucas.