Bramaya West African Music & Dance Ensemble Is Holding Auditions!

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Bramaya West African Music & Dance Ensemble Is Holding Auditions!

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General Information Bramaya is the musical project of Guinean born West African master percussionist, Abou Sylla, who now resides in Austin, TX. Named in honor of Abou’s father’s village, Bramaya combines traditional West African rhythms with new musical ideas. We are a music and dance ensemble, consisting of 12 dancers & musicians. We perform at a wide variety of events ranging from private parties to corporate events to festivals and everything in between. In 2014 you may have seen us at the Atash CD Release concert held at the Stateside Theater or at the WOBEON festival. As our notoriety continues to expand, so do our invitations to perform. To ensure we can accommodate these invitations while also continuing to participate in community events in and around Austin, we are holding auditions to increase our size. Through this audition process, we hope to identify an additional 4 to 6 musicians and an additional 4 to 6 dancers to add to our performance company. Dancers are expected to be able to play the West African bass drum (doun doun). Musicians we are seeking are those with skills in any of the following instruments: bass guitar, wind instruments, djembe drum, or doun doun. The date and time are firm; RSVP is required via the Eventbrite link below, and no make-up auditions will be held. Audition Eligibility While we are enthusiastic about growing our performance company, we are only looking to add individuals who already have a background and experience in West African music / dance, and who have the foundational skills necessary to quickly be able to perform with our existing company members almost immediately after joining. Please feel free to forward information about our auditions to anyone you believe will be interested / qualified. Membership Expectations More information will be shared about membership expectations at the audition; however, there are some essential membership expectations we would like you to be familiar with so that you can decide whether you currently have the time and energy to meet these requirements. Please carefully consider these requirements before making your decision to audition: - Existing foundation in West African rhythm / dance – As a professtional performance company (vs. a beginner’s teaching organization), Bramaya requires members to have an established background and experience with West African music and dance. - Required weekly rehearsals – Bramaya rehearses weekly from 11am – 1pm at Sahara Lounge. Attendance is required and is a condition of membership. From time-to-time on as as-needed basis to prepare for gigs, additional group rehearsals will be scheduled at a time most convenient to most members. - Personal practice as necessary – In addition to weekly rehearsals, members are expected to dedicate additional home practice time as necessary to master the musical compositions and dance/drum choreography. - Contributions for costumes – Bramaya members perform in authentic Guinean costumes, and members are expected to contribute financially to cover costume costs. These essential expectations are important conditions of membership, so we ask you to consider these seriously as you determine whether auditioning is a fit for you at this time. How to participate in auditions Participation is easy! Simply pre-register via the Eventbrite RSVP link below and use the fields provided to share with us about your West African music and/or dance experience and background. Please also include the West African rhythm you will focus on during the solo portion of your audition. Finally, feel free to email us with any other information you would like us to be aware of and any questions you have (note that the audition process will begin with a Q&A session, so you can also feel free to pose your questions at that time). - RSVP via Eventbrite at - Respond to the questions included in Eventbrite to tell us about your West African music and/or dance background and experience. - If you any other information you would like to share (or questions), feel free to email us at with the heading “2015 Auditions”. The ability to pre-register via Eventbrite will be open / available until noon on Saturday, January 31. Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate walk-ups on the day of auditions; pre-registration via Eventbrite RSVP is required. Audition Process Auditions will last approximately 1 hour, and participants will have the option to stay for a second hour to see what a typical Bramaya rehearsal entails. Dancer auditions will be done first, then musician auditions. The exact content of auditions will be provided during the audition process; however the general structure of audition process will include the following: - Brief overview and Q&A – During the sign-in process, we will give you some background about Bramaya, and we will take some time to get to know you and learn more about your interest in Bramaya and your familiarity with West African music and dance styles. - Freestyle portion – We will ask you to take a minute or two and demonstrate your music or dance capability in an unstructured / freestyle manner. Each person will freestyle solo. This will enable us to assess your foundational familiarity with West African music / dance, and it will give us a feel for your consistency of execution and tempo. In preparation for this part of the audition, we will ask you to communicate to us which West African rhythm you will dance to (dancers) or play (musicians). - Brief teach / demo – We will briefly teach a small composition (musicians) and a short choreography (dancers). We will ask you to execute the composition / choreography in small groups to enable us to evaluate your musicality, tempo, technique and memory. - Observe Bramaya rehearsal (optional final hour) – We will offer all audition participants the opportunity to stay for the noon to 1pm hour to get a feel for what a normal Bramaya rehearsal is like. No video or photography will be allowed; however we welcome you to stay and watch us rehearse. This optional observation hour will in no way impact your audition outcome. Video footage may be taken during the audition to assist us with the evaluation process. By signing up to audition, you agree to allow us to capture this footage, which will be used solely for the audition evaluation process (i.e. we will not share / distribute / post this footage externally and we will not use it for any other reason than to assist us in evaluations if/as needed). Audition Outcomes By Wednesday following the audition (February 4), you will receive a communication from us regarding audition outcomes. For those invited to join Bramaya, you will be asked to provide a response email by 5pm on Friday, February 6. The response email should indicate your acceptance of our invitation to join Bramaya, as well as an explicit acknowledgement that you understand and accept the membership expectations. Everyone who responds affirmatively to an invitation to join Bramaya is expected to attend rehearsal the following Sunday (February 8 from 11am – 1pm) and each Sunday thereafter.

By: Bramaya

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