Rhythm Life Collective is a global drumming collective presenting music of (West) Africa and the broad-scale Diaspora (including Cuba, the Caribbean, North Africa, Brazil & Arabic traditions). The fundamental mission of the group is to manifest spirit in community through sacred public performance.
Our goal is to create an environment of healing and celebration for people from vast socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and age demographics. Furthermore, the fundamental guiding principle of the group is that art should be accessible, affordable, and available to everyone. We strive to work with agencies and venues that share in this vision.
A central attribute of our shows is the opportunity for audience interaction, be it through singing, dancing, or playing instruments right along with us. As such, our shows reach audience members of all ages, and make for a rare opportunity for families and community to come together.
RLC performances emphasize respectful scholarship, immersion, and proficiency of the musical literature we present. Group members have traveled to many regions in Central and West Africa, Brazil, Turkey, and Latin/Central America to study these rich cultural traditions.
Each member is committed to their own musical and artistic growth and development, coupled with a passion to share and teach these traditions to others. As such, we each continue to train and study with master musicians and dancers within traveling distance of our home-base here in Kalamazoo and abroad.
RLC is also presenting “Rhythm Church” in a variety of sacred settings, focusing on the spiritual connection and vibrational energies present in these age-old traditions.
• Carolyn Koebel: percussion & vocals
• Calvin “Shangojinmi” Ruff: percussion & vocals
• Heather Mitchell: dance
• Kama Mitchell: dance
and a host of guest artists