If commuters felt a rhythm in the air Thursday morning, it might have been the music drifting across the water from Long Island in Boston Harbor. There, at Camp Harbor View, Boston group Rumbafrica performed for hundreds of campers; the first performance of the New Center for Arts and Culture’s Explore World Arts Program. For more information on the program, please see the New Center’s previous blog post here.
With group members from countries as diverse as the Dominican Republic, Curacao as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s not surprising Rumbafrica’s Afro-Cuban music had diverse influences and the campers singing and dancing. Spontaneous Conga Lines appeared with both campers and camp staff dancing to the beat. Dancers from Sierra Leone, wearing grass skirts and beautifully patterned clothes, taught moves to the audience and brought campers on stage to dance along with them. Campers were also encouraged to sing into the microphone along with group leader Tshibangu Kadima, who sings in five languages; Lingala, Swahili, Tshiluba, Kikongo and French.