International groove session coming to Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail |

International groove session coming to Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail

John Scheid
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily | Slyboots School of Music anWest Africa's Saakumu Dance Troupe, above, and Buffalo's jazz fusion ensemble On the Sly will perform at Paddy's in Eagle-Vail tonight.

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado – Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail is hosting an international groove session that is sure to bring crowds to their feet as well as astound them with intimacy and unique talent. Presented by an international music school based in Upstate New York, tonight’s event is part of Slykumu’s 2011 Rocky Mountain New Year’s Tour, which combines Buffalo’s jazz fusion ensemble On the Sly and West Africa’s Saakumu Dance Troupe. This arrangement brings together global musical talent for an energetic performance that is difficult to match.

On the Sly has been collaborating, touring, and recording since 2002 and currently consists of Andrew Moore, Griffin Brady and Mike Sisto. Each member of the trio contributes soulful vocals, and Brady offers traditional jazz percussion while Moore supplies funky bass and guitar riffs that accompany Sisto’s guitar solos. The band has permeated numerous musical communities through grassroots networking and collaborative efforts. These musical ventures have led to many meaningful partnerships, such as that with Ghana’s Saakumu Dance Troupe.

Saakumu plays traditional West African music and dance to audiences across the globe. The troupe believes strongly in the notion that both tradition and innovation can bring power and energy to live performances. The entertainers boast an extensive repertoire that includes Bewaa, Kpanlogo, and Yiila; some of these dance categories are recreational moonlit youth dances whereas others’ purposes range from funeral mourning to expression at political rallies.

The Slyboots School of Music and Art is deeply committed to community development and education. The organization strives to instill positive change and progression through music and the arts. Slyboots offers musical workshops, instruments, recording equipment, a live concert venue, tour management, and even its own record label, Slyboots Productions. With further dedication to cross-cultural integration and music-related travel, Slyboots also provides students with study abroad programs.

As permanent house ensemble for Slyboots School of Music and Art, On the Sly plays a large role in developing musical communities both in Buffalo and worldwide. The group shares a strong passion for bringing together enthusiastic musical talents ,which led to the spearheading of an annual musical festival. Slyfest grows each year and 2010’s collection included more than 20 bands who entertained fans for three music-filled days in Warsaw, N.Y. The interactive festival also integrates culinary and visual arts along with textile and clothing design.

Just as On the Sly stems from a larger artistic umbrella, Saakumu Dance Troupe consists of about 12 members who are part of a much larger group that comprise the Dagara Music Center, founded by musician and educator Bernard Woma. Since its commencement in 1999, the center has seen tremendous success in its global recognition and student achievement. Professionals from the surrounding communities of Ghana’s capital, Accra, come together to offer local and international students instruction in music and dance. Other Ghanaian arts such as kente weaving, batik dyeing, drum construction, and blacksmithing are also taught at the institute, though music remains its focal point.

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