Famoro Dioubate

Famoro Dioubate

Famoro Dioubate was born in Guinea, West Africa, and is the heir of Africa’s legendary bala master, the late El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyate. Famoro is a grand Djeli, a living library of West African music and culture, and the one bala player who carries Sory Kouyate’s legacy. Famoro is widely sought after as a composer and arranger for countless West African and world music artists because of his extensive knowledge and talent in composition and arrangement, as well as immense archives of traditional, classical music of West Africa. No one stands more central as “keeper of the torch” for Djeliya than Famoro Dioubate. Famoro lives in New York and travels and performs internationally.

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Kevin Nathaniel

Kevin Nathaniel

Kevin Nathaniel Hylton, a Yale University graduate, as a Scholar in Fine Arts, is an artist, performer and multi-percussionist, who specializes in the ancient African mbira. He spent 16 years mastering the mbira as an apprentice to Zimbabwe’s mbira master, the late Ephrat Mujuru. Today Kevin has been dubbed, “The Johnny Appleseed of the Mbira” because he has taught tens of thousands of people around the world the art of mbira making and playing. He has composed music for Alice Walker for the film Beloved; and has performed at several institutions which include: Lincoln Center, Juilliard and Carnegie Hall; as well as working with renowned artists such as Oprah Winfrey, Jonathan Demme, Thomas Mapfumo, Miriam Makeba, Bobby McFerrin and Madonna. Kevin has also helped to create the “CAP” program of African Music for NYC schools at Symphony Space. He is also a founding member of several touring musical groups which include: Spirit Ensemble, Heritage O P, Forestdance, Kaleidhaphonic, Africa Meets India and Harmony Mbira. Kevin lives in NYC, his music can be found on Spotify, iTunes and other outlets.

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Tomas Rodriguez

Tomas Rodriguez

Tomas Rodriguez is a classical guitarist who has developed a unique repertoire for solo guitar performance that is rooted in his Spanish (Spain) ancestry. He has been guided by diverse styles of music that have inspired him, which include the folk music of Galicia, Spain; arrangements of the works of Venezuelan harp masters; Brazilian choros; Venezuelan waltzes; and contemporary flamenco. Tomas’s compositions include original works and have formed and performed in the trio called AFARA with Kevin Nathaniel and Hasan Bakr; AFARA has recorded six original songs to be released in 2021

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Leonard George

Leonard George

Leonard George, PhD, is a Canadian psychologist, writer, educator and broadcaster. He
is a life-long student of esotericism. He spent two years as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Parapsychology in Durham, North Carolina. After earning his doctorate at the University of Western Ontario, he worked for 19 years in a variety of clinical settings, specializing in the treatment of psychotic disorders, seizure disorders, pain management and traumas such as severe burns. He then worked in academia for 15 years as a member of the Department of Psychology and the Department of Music Therapy and served as the Chair of the School of Social Sciences at Capilano University in North Vancouver. Author of two books, Crimes of Perception: An Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics and Alternative Realities: The Paranormal, the Mystic and the Transcendent in Human Experience and dozens of chapters and article son a range of topics, he has for many years served as an advisor to the series of Esoteric Quests produced by The Open Center. (Photo by Abigail Saxton)

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The Art of Dying Institute