Guest Presenter Biographies

Navaro Franco

Navaro has worked as a drummer and percussionist for 22 years. She has also studied subtle forms of energy healing, and practices yoga and tribal and ecstatic dance forms. In this 2 hr workshop, you will learn to Weave Sound to receive & share healing energy. You are guided by an expert who has devoted 30 yrs to exploring this subject.

    Workshop Content:
  • Learn how and why Rhythm has the power to transform your consciousness.
  • Learn Deep Listening skills as you play
  • Open Your mind's Wholistic Right Brain Function
  • Engage the Great Organizing Power of Rhythm on cellular & atomic levels
  • Use rhythm and chant to Connect & Activate your Field w the Field of the Earth

Kesseke Yeo

For Kesseke dance is like a medicine. He started dancing at 7 years and at 11 he went to the Ivory Coast National Ballet and was there for several years dancing locally and touring around Africa and Europe. He also danced for Yelemba d`Abidjan and Ballet Djolem d'Abidjan, la Companie de Wouafou de Abidjan. In 2001 he moved to Vancouver and currently dances for Masabo Culture Company and his own group West meets West. He also teaches West African dance in various dance studios in Vancouver. He is also a clothing designer and tailor:

Felicity Mayhew

Felicity was born in Zambia and began dancing at age 2. She graduated at the International Dance Teachers Association and Zimbabwe Institute of Allied Arts. She has shared dance and choreographed in Africa, Europe, India and North America. From 2000 her dance practice transformed, heightening her intuition and connection to the subtlety of movement. For Felicity dance is a powerful healing force and the doorway to the heart. She is also an abstract painter and designer and has a decade of experience working with the UN.

Donnalee Davidson

Donnalee is a diverse and passionate dancer. Her 16 year dance portfolio includes Fire Poi, Middle Eastern Belly Dance, and Flamenco. Donnalee has a passion for artistic movement and strives to enable others to feel the joy of dance.

Tragic Hip Replacements

The Tragic Hip Replacements is a hobbyist-level musical ensemble of like-minded individuals who love to share songs and stories for fun and teeny bits of cash!

Members are: Greg Reely, Gary Dray, Dan Gusztak, Jim Gallagher, Shannon Cote , Ron Weiten, & Thurien Myint

Rhythm Fest Member Biographies

Bobby Bovenzi, BS African Studies, MS Elementary Education

Bobby is the owner and operator of Nankama World Beat Event Performances in Okanagan Falls, BC. His scheduling includes Rhythm Circle and West African Drum and Dance school residencies and assemblies, fundraisers, festivals, parties, corporate team building, daily classes, and summer markets. He has had the honor to study with Khalid Abdul N'Faly Saleem, Cylde Alafiju Morgan, Mamady "Wadaba" Kourouma, Keio Ogawa, Kpani Addy, Famoudou Konate, Mamady Keita, Arthur Hull and Youseff Koumbassa. Bobby is the Rhythm Fest's Executive Director and has volunteered many hours along side his colleagues in the Cooperative to bring this great Fest to life each year! See

    Beginner West African drum rhythms on djembe and dundun set drums, (three drums played by one player) We'll explore several universal hand patterns that can be played to various traditional and improvisational dunun patterns. Dunun drums and several djembes provided.

Jim Copeman

Jim Copeman is a world fusion percussionist and a Drum Circle Facilitator. He will be presenting workshops on the cahon and the lapstyle frame drum at this year’s Okanagan Rhythm Fest.

Lapstyle Frame Drum: Jim came across this style of frame drumming while attending worshops at the 'Tamburi Mundi International Frame Drum Festival' in Goreme Turkey. There are varied sizes and styles of frame drums that produce many beautiful and exciting rhythms. This playing style was developed by Glen Velez. It is not based on one drum tradition, but is a fusion of several techniques and adapted to this style of drumming.

Cajon: The cajon has Afro-Peruvian roots, initial developed on the Peruvian coast in the 1800s. It is a common instrument in Cuban and flamenco music. Nowadays kit drummers enjoy the mobility of the cajon and can play with other musicians in a more acoustic or roots setting. This workshop will show you basic to intermediate techniques of the cajon, and also how to create your own rhythms.

Naoko Nakamura

Naoko came to drumming with a background in classical music. She took a B. Mus from University of Toronto specializing in oboe. While at U of T, Naoko took a taiko class from Kiyoshi Nagata of Toronto's Nakata Shachu taiko group. Upon moving to Kelowna she joined Yamabiko to make friends, but ultimately found what would become her passion. Naoko loves the discipline of taiko and loves every minute of hitting the drum!

Naoko will be assisting Harumi Tamaoki with the introductory taiko workshops.

Donna Pura

Donna has a passion for music and has been involved in all types of dance, including Latin dance, jazz, ballet, flamenco, belly dance and West African. To share her love of music, and fusion of dance and fitness she became a Zumba® Instructor in 2009, and teaches classes in Penticton. She recently joined Nankama Drum and Dance, and has discovered there is nothing quite like dancing to live beat of the drummers! Please join in on a Zumba® class with Donna Saturday morning at 10:45.

Raven Ritcey, B.Ed. M.Ed.

Raven’s love of the drum and teaching strategies makes drumming easy, fun, and successful. Raven facilitates “Djembe Django” - a Kamloops Drum Circle, “Young Drum”- youth from School District #73, and UJAMMA a Kamloops Community Drum Circle. Raven also performs with two drum groups; Rhythm Ryders and Djembe Django Drummers. Contact Raven through info at and

    Djembe Rhythms - Raven's drum workshops will have you drumming, humming, and smiling! Drummers are introduced to easy learning strategies and sweet djembe rhythms! Audio recording allowed. 15 djembes available. All welcome!

Trevor Salloum

Trevor was a licensed naturopathic physician in Kelowna from 1986-2006. He now pursues music full time in the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver. He has played music professionally for over 35 years and taught drumming for over 30 years. He produces books, CDs and DVDs on percussion for an international publisher. Trevor has also worked in various capacities combining health and drumming (Schools, Colleges, Universities, Boys and Girls Club and a First Nations Centre). In the late 1990's he was a founding member of "The Rhythm Project" which brought Barry Bernstein RMT to Kelowna. Although Trevor primarily teaches specific styles of percussion (Latin, African, Middle Eastern, jazz) he also utilizes these cultural approaches to evoking the healing potential of drumming. See

    AFRO-CUBAN DRUMMING: This course will focus on the fundamentals used to create the exciting and exotic sounds in Afro-Cuban percussion.(Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Mozambique, Bolero etc.) The workshop will include an overview of the main instruments and rhythms. Participants will have the opportunity to play these instruments in an ensemble setting.

    MIDDLE EASTERN DRUM WORKSHOP: This workshop is for drummers/dancers of all level who would like to gain some experience and knowledge of the Doumbek, Dar and Riq. This course will focus on the rhythms and techniques used in creating the beautiful sounds on these unique instruments. Learn to unlock the mystery of these ancient rhythmic patterns that have intrigued generations since antiquity.

Harumi Tamaoki

Harumi began taiko in 2003 with Koihime Daiko in her native Achi Village. She learned steadily and moved quickly to become one of the founding members of Wadaiko Tokara and has since toured with the group all over the world. Harumi brings a profound joy and laughter to every performance which is contagious to all around.

Harumi has also practised and performed with Kelowna's own Yamabiko Taiko at various times in the last nine years, including at ORF'10. ORF is delighted to have Harumi leading two beginner taiko workshops at this year's festival.

    Taiko Drumming: Learn the basic styles and techniques on the various instruments found in Taiko drumming, and by the conclusion of class, be able to perform a short piece. Open to all levels.

Presenters from Past ORFs

Dallas Arcand

Dallas Arcand is an Aboriginal entertainer from the Alexander (Kipohtakaw) Plains Indian Cree Nation, located near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is broadly talented, but best known for his achievements as a hoop dancer, a motivational speaker and a musician.

Arcand has been a World Class Hoop Dancer for 14 years. In 2007, he won 1st prize at the Annual World Championship Hoop Dancing Competition in Arizona, and the right to bear the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer for the second consecutive year. In both 2005 and 2004, he had received second place honors with an impressive showing.

Arcand facilitates workshops for aboriginal people of all ages, speaking on topics that range from self-awareness to personal motivation, to music, to parenting skills

J Clark

J Clark is a self taught multi disciplined musical fun seeker. He has been playing and sharing a diverse range of noise making talent since his teens in the eighties as a bass player in his father’s sixties cover band to background percussion for singer songwriters. His lifetime of playing and sharing music continues to grow and evolve. He is currently a happy drum banging member of Penticton’s West African drum and dance group Nankama.

J developed an interest in didgeridoos in 2003 and was quick to blow his new horn. He was instantly captivated by its deeply rooted history, its healing properties and the depth and range of sound that is possible through this soulful wind instrument. J looks forward to sharing a little bit of its magic in this introduction to didgeridoo for beginners workshop.

Ivy Dandjo

My name is Ivy and I come from Ghana Africa. I have been dancing since I was a little girl. I love dancing because it makes me feel alive where by I can forget about all my troubles and be just in the moment. Dancing makes me want to live forever! Thank you so much for letting me be part of the up coming Okanagan Rhythm Fest.

Jake Evans

Jake Evans, from Halifax Nova Scotia, began practicing the art of urban dance late in 1998 but with little urban culture to draw from on the east coast of Canada, found his passion was a definite struggle. Finally in the summer of 2001, he was able to attend proper classes in L.A. The intensive was hosted by the Guzman-Sanchez brothers who were showcased in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video. This changed everything for Evans as he had now been given a foundation that was correct in relation to the origins of urban styles. Being the only urban dancer on the east to actually travel and train, Evans quickly made a reputation performing, instructing and tirelessly promoting Popping, Locking and Breaking in the Atlantic Provinces. Almost all of the dance crews and events on the east can be traced back to this enthusiastic ambassador. In 2005, Evans was awarded a professional development grant from the Atlantic government to train with the Electric Boogaloos. Also, one of Jake's students, Natalie Lyons, made the top 20 for SYTYCD Canada, season 2.

Media, event, competition and print appearances are too many to name. Most notable however is a brief dance sequence on Showcase's Trailer Park Boys in 2002. His training has continued for the last decade with the Electric Boogaloos' Poppin Pete and Suga Pop, 7Gemz/Rock Steady Crew's Ken Swift, Ill Kosby, Caleaf Sellars, Don Campbell, Greg Pope, Licorice Lloyd, Luther Brown and many more.

Adult HipHop, Funk, Groove and Club Dance Workshop: Classes focus on 'feeling and connecting' to music ...digging into the groove for an extra funky and flavorful dance experience.

Lindsay Favell

Lindsay is a wise and skilled Taiko beauty who can dazzle anyone; she makes everyone feel happy. Lindsay looks for the positives in life and tries hard to make the world a better place. Lindsay has been playing Taiko since 2003 with her troupe Yamabiko Taiko out of Kelowna. See more on the Yamabiko Taiko web site.

    Taiko Drumming: Learn the basic styles and technique to create a short drum piece on the various instruments found in Taiko drumming, and by the conclusion of class, be able to perform a short piece. Open to all levels.

Nathaniel Huard

Nathaniel Huard was introduced to Middle Eastern percussion from a friend who brought back recordings of classical Arabic music after a trip to the Middle East. Unsuccessfully trying to imitate the intricate rhythms, he met Trevor Salloum and enrolled for an introductory Middle Eastern drumming workshop on the doumbek. He later discovered the arabic tambourine, the riqq, and has trained with master instrumentalists, such as Michel Merhej, in Canada, the US, France, Turkey and Syria. He specializes in uneven time signatures, playing complicated rhythms ranging from 7, 9, 10, and even up to 17-beat cycles. He is now established in Kelowna and is eager to share and teach this beautiful and ancestral tradition, infusing musicians and listeners alike with a new way to perceive space and time in rhythm and music..

Julio Monteiro

Julio Monteiro (in the Capoeira world known as ‘Rasta’) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil, the very place Capoeira was born many centuries ago. At the age of 9 he started training Capoeira with his cousin in the backyard of his house. At that early age he had the privilege of meeting many famous masters of Capoeira on the streets of Bahia, including Mestre Boa Gente. Rasta’s farther, also a Capoeirista and a musician, passed away when Julio was 7 years old. His farther was and remains his inspiration to move forward and Rasta continues his farther’s passion for Capoeira and learning.

In 1999 Rasta came to Canada, after being invited by his sister to teach Capoeira workshops, and stayed to start his work in Vancouver, BC. He had met with a lot of challenges but continues to learn, train and teach Capoeira movement classes, Music, Maculele, and everything that is related to Capoeira. In short – Capoeira is his life. Rasta is also a skilled percussionist, who from the early age of 9 years old played in many parades in Brazil. He tries to visit Brasil and Capoeira workshops around the world as often as possible to continue his development. He received his latest “verde/roxa”(green/purple) corda during Mestre Camisa’s Batizado at Jogos Mundiais 2009 in Rio de Janeiro.

Angela Roy

The founder of Expression, Angela Roy, designed the rhythmic art program based on her year’s experiences as a performing artist and educator. Performing artists, percussionist her performances broadcasted on CBC radio/TV, CHBCTV. Angela has studied African Drum & Dance for several years, performing with the West African, Togo based drum & percussion ensemble“Gamalie”. Dedicated to the arts and education and has studied various dance and percussion styles; Afro-Cuban, African, Garifuna, Indian, first nations… Angela co-founded the Images modern dance co., she performed and choreographed works that toured throughout BC…know for their cultural fusion dance production always performed to live voice & percussion ensemble.

Mark Welch

Mark Welch, drum maker, performer, presenter, and artist…has been making Primero and Segundo drums for international market for over a decade. A Belizean born artists, rooted in the Garifuna and Creole Culture…has performed through out Central America, southern USA. In the fall of 2009, Mark toured through BC, Canada at street festivals, community centers & schools.