Originally broadcast live on WKCR. In this podcast we pay tribute to the great musician and educator Madeleine Yayodele Nelson. Joining us in the studio were her friends and bandmates Caren Calder and Marsha Perry-Starks as well as Olumide, Dana Hanchard, Giancarlo Luiggi and Babatunde Don Eaton. Madeleine was , a composer, arranger, vocalist, percussionist, teacher, and instrument maker as well as the founder and artistic director of WOMEN OF THE CALABASH.
A celebrated percussionist, Ms Nelson performed in many parts of the world and has composed and performed music for Off Broadway Theater. An instrument maker, she handcrafted the shekeres for the New York and London companies of the Broadway show FELA. She recorded with Paul Simon, Billy Harper, the Jambalaya Brass Band, WOMEN OF THE CALABASH, and many others. Ms Nelson presented master classes in shekere playing throughout the U.S., in London, and in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She lectured at the Julliard School and taught master classes at the Manhattan School of Music. Ms Nelson was Founder and director of WOMEN OF THE CALABASH, an internationally acclaimed vocal and percussion ensemble. Founded in 1978, the company performed extensively in the U.S. as well as in the British Isles, Europe, West Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.
Ms Nelson’s film credits include Marlon Riggs’ Black Is Black Ain’t and The American Bible Society’s The Visit. She has performed for four Presidents, including President Barack Obama. She was a dedicated teaching artist with a legacy of thousands of students.