Drum Teachers in Memoriam

In Memoriam

I'm sad to share news that two of my beloved frame drum teachers (both performers) have passed over this week, Oct. 2013. 

Layne Redmond (August 19, 1952 – October 28, 2013) was an American drummer, frame drum virtuoso, writer, teacher, historian, feminist, and mythologist. 

Layne Redmond, author of influential book "When the Women Were Drummers", was inspirational to women drummers around the world. Since a couple dozen years ago, I've learned from Layne, and wherever I play in spiritual spaces, always use the three Remo signature timbrels that Layne designed. Waiting for it's creation, I bought Layne's smallest timbrel heavy jingle frame drum as it was 'hot off the press'. Two decades ago with Layne as my inspiration, I played my largest frame drum in ritualized dance that I choreographed for my movement duo, during a Shabbat service at the Onion, a round sacred space.

I have discovered reading Layne's "Back Story" that she (like me) was a Max Beckmann scholarship art student at the Brooklyn Museum.  Layne studied painting in 1977. (I was a full time Max Beckmann ceramics graduate student in 1970-1971). Our lives intersected when in the late 1980's in CA, I first studied frame drum with Layne, and continued to learn from her at Remo. Layne was a blesSing.
~ ~ ~

John Bergamo (May 28, 1940 - Oct. 19, 2013) was a percussionist and Percussion Hall of Fame member. 
John Bergamo, a great talented treasure and innovative percussion teacher to countless musicians for decades, especially at CalArts, has been a percussion inspiration to me during the last 15 years (especially at Remo). It is John's large over-sized gentle Remo 'moon' signature frame drum that I play at temples. I loved watching John play in his various groups with experimental percussion, i.e. with little bowls filled with water.

                                                                       ~ ~ ~


Paulo Mattioli, died too young from brain cancer on October 22, 2011. Paulo, my white Italian African djembe teacher, personally made my djembe drum.  I still perform on the djembe drum that Paulo made for me. I went to Paulo's Topanga Canyon studio and he made my djembe out of Chinese or Siberian elm from the Rocky Mountains, and from goatskin. I love my drum.  Paulo called my drum the cadillac of djembe especially because of the comfortable beveled edge.

For years I drove weekly to LA where Paulo gave drum lessons and with African dance. I knew Paulo before I knew Remo, and then blessed, enjoyed Paulo at Remo.

 I loved Paulo's high and fast paced joyous energy, and especially his drum circles at Remo.
I would drum and dance with Paulo's students at REMO's North Hollywood studio (where he was a REMO signature artist), and weekly also with his partners and participants in Santa Monica where he held sessions. Paulo always called out, "If you can say it, you can play it."

We almost shared the same birthday and I would bring fruit for our mutual birthdays celebrated at Remo.

This is from Paulo's obituary:
"Paulo Mattioli was recognized as a world-renowned multi-percussionist, educator and master instrument designer, with a special ability to inspire and empower others through drumming.

"Mattioli, in fact, said he believes the djembe has become the drum of choice for percussion enthusiasts. "It produces a very powerful sound that's also passionate and sensual," he said. "Djembe has been called the magical, or healing, drum, because no one can resist its sound.

"All of the rhythms we have today have evolved from the West African rhythms, and the djembe is one of the oldest instruments from that part of the world. For a drummer, it's the wellspring, the richest source of all rhythms.”
~ ~ ~


Babatunde Olatunji, died April 6, 2003.  Babatunde, the greatest African djembe player and teacher.

May their souls be blessed.

In deep appreciation, 
Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~

Not a personal teacher, but a musician important to me:
NEA American Jazz Master, Yusef Lateef, Who Embraced World Music, Dies at 93, 12.23.13  The first album ever given to me (by my aunt Perle) when I was a teen, was by Yusef Lateef. First album I ever bought at age 16 was by his friend, drummer Babatunde Olatunji, obm, with whom I gratefully got to perform. (Dreams really do manifest.)

"Yusef Lateef combined thoughtfulness and a probing intellectual curiosity with impressive musical skills. Early in his career, he established his role as a pathfinder in blending elements from a multiplicity of different sources." - LA TIMES obit
~ ~ ~


Saddest for me and the world was when Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z'l, died. From him I learned "harmony." Shlomo channeled his niggunim from Shamayim. He was a BlesSing in my life.
~ ~ ~


So tragic when brilliant singer/composer Debbie Friedman, z'l, died too young at 59.
Debbie was a blesSing in my life and I was very blessed that over the years at times I accompanied Debbie. Her legacy is kept alive everywhere.
~ ~ ~


The saddest news is that Remo Belli, obm, visionary and founder of REMO drums, died, April 25, 2016. May his legacy be continued by musicians all over the world.  
Remo has been most important in my life.


~ ~ ~

Shoshannah Sarah, z"l

Joy & Shoshannah Shoshannah (Chouake)  6.5.56 - Feb. 2018

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. 
Very sad that Shoshannah Sarah bat Avraham, z"l, died Feb. 26, 2018 from cancer.  She was buried in Jerusalem an hour before Erev Shabbat, 3.2.2018 on Shushan Purim at Mt of Olives, Har HaZeitim. May 5, a memorial in NY was held for Shoshannah by caring cousins and friends and rabbis. A beautiful slide shown was shown of her life along with her music she played. (I was grateful to see my own shared photos of Shoshannah also displayed in the memorial video.)

In a magical Divinely inspired experience, I first met Shoshannah in Jerusalem after I'd seen her perform a couple times on African djembe drum and piano with Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z"l. 

Then later, I saw Shoshannah sitting in the middle of a Berkeley courtyard and asked her to show me how to play the borrowed Djembe that I was holding. Shoshannah was my first djembe white, non-African teacher. That same night I went to a drum circle with my borrowed djembe from Miriam Minkoff from Buffalo, NY.

SHOSHANAH Sarah, my very first djembe teacher. She was my inspiration to play. I would watch her play with Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z"l. Shoshanah told me she loved accompanying Reb Shlomo both on piano and djembe.

Shoshana's music was Divine. We used to dance together in her home (near Mahane Yehuda) in Jerusalem to her piano music, and she said she had never before done that, dance while listening to her own music tape which was not yet produced. We saw our dancing shadows on her wall with light streaming in.
 (I wrote a tape cassette review of Shoshannah's music in the Jewish Calendar Magazine and Shoshannah loved it.)

"May the one who spent her life using her music to heal others now find eternal healing & wholeness beneath the wings of Everlasting Love." - Lorelei

 She was buried in Jerusalem Erev Shabbat, 3.2.2018 on Shushan Purim at Mt of Olives, Har HaZeitim. 

She was a deeply spiritual woman, an accomplished musician with several CDs available on ITunes, a Wellness and health expert, a raw food chef, and a beautiful person. She loved being part of the Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach chevra!”
May Shoshana Sarah's neshama soar to Shmayim. May her memory be for a blessing. May she dance and play with angels.

Shoshannah, as I had done, had also learned with percussionist John Bergamo, obm, of CalArts. She too had taught at CalArts where she had been a studen.

~ ~ ~

MY STORY about Shoshannah Shoshannah
- Joy Krauthammer ©

I am here as a performing percussonist following my intentions because my 'dream' many years ago was answered: to share, as spiritual drummer-- the passionate sound of the drum, the wellspring of gathering rhythms.

I was studying outer spiritual life, and receiving inner spiritual life and holy direction.  Away at a spiritual retreat in Berkeley at Theological Seminary, I received spiritual guidance from (now Rabbi) Hanna Tiferet Siegel.  During her workshop, on a piece of plain white 8"x10" paper, I drew, tracing next to each other, my right hand and my left hand. I filled in the palms, as directed, with my desires to manifest. This was "The Secret." Put my thought energy into what I want to manifest and ask for it.  I asked The Source of All BlesSings to Shma, hear me.

Right hand-- what I want to receive.  Left hand-- what I want to give to the universe.

For wanting to receive, I drew an African djembe drum. I had seen one played in Jerusalem. For wanting to give out to the universe, I drew music signs and wrote the words, "spiritual music". 

 (At that moment I was in Berkeley and from LA, CA.)

Finished my experiential sketch, and a stranger whom I had never before seen, "Miriam Minkoff from Buffalo" walked through the outdoor courtyard and up to me, as I, with my two hands art work in hand, was leaving the workshop through door's threshold, the portal.  Miriam mysteriously and magically handed to me her huge African djembe drum which was in her arms, and only said, "Play it, and return it to me when you're through."  Miriam walked away and disappeared into the crowd. (There are more miraculous post scripts to this story.)

This is all Hashgachah Pratit / Divine guidance. In the middle of the courtyard of the Theological Seminary was Shoshannah Shoshannah aka Shoshannah Sara. Walking directly to her as she sat on a circular cement wall, I asked Shoshannah to show me what to do with this large natural skin, wooden djembe drum, which fit very well in my arms' embrace.

 I recognized Shoshanna from Jerusalem as being Reb Shlomo Carlebach's, zt'l, concert djembe drummer and also fine pianist. 

It was during the first of these Jerusalem concerts  I attended that I had surprisingly 'heard and received a Divine message' that I was "to play on stage with Reb Shlomo", whom I did not yet know. Although I was a visual artist and a childhood musician on piano, violin and clarinet, I was not yet playing djembe–Middle-Eastern dumbek, yes.

I had seen Shoshannah in concert different times in Jerusalem, and then met her at the Jerusalem home of the Witt family, not then realizing that she was the musician whom I had watched on stage. The host sat me down next to Shoshannah.  How fortuitous. How synchronistic. How perfect. Hashgachah Pratit.

Now in Berkeley, Shoshannah was sitting right there alone in the center of the Theological Seminary courtyard and I was carrying a djembe drum. 

In Jerusalem, after the Witts' reception on Reb Shlomo's yahrzeit, Shoshannah and I had walked back to her home near the famous market, Machane Yehuda. We danced to her professionally recorded piano music. The music had not yet been published and released. Shoshanna, the pianist and percussionist had never before danced to her own music. I watched our dance shadows on the white painted old walls. 

(Years later, an LA friend purchased and played for me in her car, the now published piano music tape of Shoshanna's, having no idea that I knew Shoshannah and her music!)

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