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Bradley Simmons Life on Broadway

Posted: Feb. 17th, 2014 at 3:59 pm by Dan Smith | Modified: Oct. 21st, 2014 at 2:48 pm

The Duke University Center for International Studies will host Bradley Simmons, director of the Duke Djembe Ensemble for the February 19, 2014 edition of Wednesdays at the Center.

The program, “Life on Broadway,” begins at noon and is free an open to the public.

Bradley began playing Afro-Cuban and African percussion when he was 9 years old. From that point on and through his teenage years, he traveled throughout his hometown, New York City, seeking out percussion teachers from Haiti, Cuba and Africa in an effort to enhance his understanding of these rhythmic forms, styles and techniques. Bradley soon became a consistent and sought after Conguero and shekere player for community and religious events including weekend long Bembes, weddings and many other cultural events. Bradley not only developed as a percussionist; he became a knowledge base for that which had preceded him, by the transfer of knowledge through the Afro-Cuban and African oral traditions.

Bradley was soon very busy doing on-Broadway plays including: Timbuktu with Eartha Kitt and Melba Moore; Billy Wilson’s version of Guys and Dolls starring Robert Guillume; and Reggae with Calvin Lockhart and Philip Michael Thomas. Bradley performed in the following plays off-Broadway: Night Club Confidential; Vennette Carroll’s Never Jam Today and the Ups and Downs of Theophilous Maitland.

Bradley is the former Music Director of the Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble of Durham, NC and has taught throughout the United States; including at the Larocque Bey School of Dance and the Gloria Jackson School of Dance in NYC. He has taught percussion classes and drum clinics at universities such as, The Berkeley School of Music, Boston MA; Texas Southern, Houston, TX; Wichita State University, Wichita, KS and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Lunch will be served.

Dan Smith is the Assistant Director for Programs at the Duke University Center for International Studies.
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