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Royal Hartigan

Primary Instrument: Drums

Royal Hartigan

Royal Hartigan is a percussionist, pianist, and tap dancer who has studied and performed the musics of Asia, Africa, Europe, West Asia, and the Americas, including indigenous West African drumming, dance, song, and highlife; Turkish bendir frame drum; Japanese taiko drumming; Philippine kulintang gong and drum ensembles; Chinese Beijing, Cantonese, and Kunqu opera percussion; South Indian solkattu rhythms; Korean pungmul drum and gong ensemble; Javanese and Sumatran gamelan; Gaelic bodhran; Native American drumming; Dominican merengue; Brazilian samba; Cambodian sampho drums, Vietnamese clapper percussion, European symphony; and African American blues, gospel, funk, hip-hop, and jazz traditions....
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Awards

J. William Fulbright Lecture/Research Award for Ghana, West Africa, October 2014-August 2015. Administered through the U.S. Department of State and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars West African Rhythms for Drumset book and CD selected by peer review as one of the top 25 publications in the history of percussion/drumset studies by Modern Drummer magazine, December 2011 issue UMass Dartmouth Provost’s Travel Grant for Society for Ethnomusicology Conference Presentation, San Francisco, CA, March 2011 UMass Dartmouth Healey Research Grant for the Philippines, April 2010, for June-August 2010 Marion and Jasper Whiting Travel Grant for the Philippines, April 2010, June- August 2010 UMass Dartmouth Travel grant for presentation in San Francisco State University, March 2010 UMass Dartmouth Chancellor’s Colloquium Award, March 2010 Asian Cultural Council Research Grant for the Philippines, 11 June–29 August 2009 J. William Fulbright Lecture/Research Award for the Philippines, 1 October-30 December 2006. Administered through the U.S. Department of State and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars New School University (NY) Dean’s Resident Artist Award, during UMD sabbatical, November 2005 and April 2006 Endorsee, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets Company, Dedham, MA, 2003-present Endorsee, Istanbul Cymbals USA, Chatsworth/Los Angeles, CA, 2007-present Endorsee, Remo Drum Co. Valencia, CA, 2006-present UMass Dartmouth Innovations in Teaching grant for digital technology aspect of book/DVD on African music and culture, summer 2004 UMass Dartmouth Chancellor’s Public Service grant for community workshops in African music, dance, and culture, spring 2004 UMass Dartmouth Provost’s Travel grant for world music workshops and presentations in Beijing, China, spring 2004 UMass Dartmouth Provost’s Travel grant for workshops and presentation in African Music, Oakland, CA, summer 2004 UMass Dartmouth SACHEM grant for visiting artist in African music, dance, and culture, spring 2003 UMass Dartmouth Innovations in Teaching grant for research in Africa, summer 2002 Korean Foundation fellowship for study at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, summer 2001 UMass Dartmouth Dean’s Discretionary Grant and Healy Grant for research in China, summer 2001 San Jose State University, CA, Grant for research trip to China, summer 1999 San Jose State University Grant for research trips to Ghana, summer 1994-97 Middletown, CT, Commission for the Arts, annually, 1989-1993 National Endowment for the Arts for study with Edward Blackwell, 1986 Pittsfield, MA, Arts Council for concert of world music, 1986 Wesleyan University, CT, Music Department assistantship, 1981-86 University of Massachusetts Amherst Music Department scholarship, 1979-81
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    Blood Drum Spirit

    Innova Recordings
    2010

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Featured recording “Blood Drum Spirit”

Latest Release

Blood Drum Spirit

Innova Recordings (2008)

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”Royal Hartigan's two-disc set Blood Drum Spirit draws its musical inspiration from the percussionist's travels and studies in far-flung places. A native of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, Hartigan integrates elements of the music of Ghana, India, and the Philippines as well as Native Americans into his compositions, using them to express his long-standing interests in multiple time signatures and polymeter. Unlike those who use world music as an exotic flavor, Hartigan integrates these influences deep within the structure of his pieces, which are an expression of a worldview that goes beyond music...

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Primary InstrumentDrums

LocationNorth Dartmouth, MA

Willing to teachAdvanced students only.

Credentials/BackgroundAs a musician, I know that the best learning comes from doing. In each of my workshops around the world or classes in the Music Department, College of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth students clap, sing, dance, or drum as an essential part of our discussion, reading, listening, and viewing. It is not necessary to master each activity, but to experience the sound, movement, and group interaction intensively. When possible, artists from each style or culture area studied perform for and with the class to bring the roots of the sound and movement home. My workshops, both individual and with master artists, include: West African drumming, its connection to African American and other contemporary music, innovations in jazz performance, historical jazz drumset styles, rhythms from Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East adapted to drumset, new time and rhythmic concepts for drumset and jazz ensemble, African American expressions of culture, aesthetics, music, society, and politics, and music as philosophy. On a graduate or undergraduate level, our classes and workshops in African American music live out what we discuss: we clap, sing, and dance camp meeting ring shouts or Georgia Sea Islands pattin' Juba, construct a one-string diddly-bow, sing the blues, compose a rap and play/dance hip-hop beats, dance to reggae and scat sing in the bebop jazz style: all as part of understanding the resilience and power of African American traditions. In our world music and ethnomusicology workshops and classes, we perform Native American Iroquois, Navajo, Lakota, and Inuit rhythms, songs, and dances; Japanese taiko rhythms, Chinese Beijing and Cantonese opera patterns; Philippine kulintang gong and drum ensemble pieces; Turkish usul rhythmic cycles on the bendir frame drum; South Indian karnatak solkattu rhythmic vocables; Korean nong ak drum and gong ensemble patterns; Javanese gamelan compositions; Gaelic bodhran rhythms; European chamber and symphonic percussion pieces, Dominican merengue, Brazilian samba; Cuban guaguanco; American rudimental drumming; and West African songs, dances, and drum, bell, and rattle repertoire. I also teach piano and jazz improvisation, focusing on the African American tradition and its innovators, such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman. The small and large jazz ensembles I work with play repertoire from the early 1920s through the present. We learn from the African American tradition and use its heritage of spontaneous aural interaction as a way to develop pieces and perform in the style of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Sun Ra. We deal with the cultural and social meaning of pieces in each era as a way to play diverse historical styles with integrity. Our ensembles at UMass Dartmouth also play original and historic compositions in the African American tradition with a strong emphasis on influences from Asian, African, and American cultures. Our Kekeli West African drum and dance ensemble performs the music and dance of the Eve, Fon, Ashanti, Ga, Dagomba, Dagarti, and other cultural groups. We are led in public concerts and workshops by master drummers such as Abraham Kobena Adzenyah, C.K. Ladzekpo, and Martin Kwaakye Obeng, and dancers Kwabena Boateng and Helen Mensah. In each area of teaching I am committed to understanding the beliefs, lifeways, and histories of peoples as an essential part of their music making. Charlie Parker's words, 'If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.' are true. Even in the classroom, we live the music as much as possible to feel it and find what it means to each of us.

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