About the Residency

Kera Washington, ethnomusicologist and band leader for Zili Misik, will spend five days in residence March 14-18 in northern New Hampshire, offering assemblies and workshops on the music of the African Diaspora and its relation to music around the globe.

Kera will take northern and central New Hampshire audiences on a trip through history, exploring the roots of the music in Africa, its journey across the Atlantic, and the effect that journey has had on the music over time. In addition to programs for students, she will offer an educator workshop and a series of community events. On Friday, Zili Misik musicians will join her for two exciting culminating performances (including one school performance), energetic shows that bridge cultures, generations and continents.

These programs are accessible for those in wheelchairs. If you have additional access concerns, please contact us as soon as possible. These programs are part of an artist residency presented by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and supported in part by the New England States Touring Program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies, including the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

All of our events are open to all. If you can't pay the asking price, please pay what you can or come as our guest.

We are unable to offer refunds on our workshops and performances. In the event that the Arts Alliance has to cancel an event (due to weather or other reasons), it will be posted here and your money will be refunded.


Upcoming Performances

Zili Misik in Concert

Friday, March 18, 7:30 p.m. 

Littleton Opera House, 2 Union St., Littleton, NH

Don't miss our only community concert with Boston's incredible Afro-Caribbean, "New World Soul" band Zili Misik! 

Tickets: $17 at the door ($12 in advance), $10/student at the door ($5 in advance), $40 maximum/family ($30 in advance); additional discounts for Arts Alliance members. Purchase tickets online or at Topic of the Town in Littleton. 

Dinner Deal: Save 15% on your meal (drinks excluded) at Topic of the Town if you dine before the show! Just show your ticket (or your printed receipt if you purchased online) to save on your meal. 

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Workshops & Other Events

Women's Drum Circle presented with WREN

Monday, March 14, 6 p.m. 

WREN Gallery (at WREN Local Works), 2013 Main St., Bethlehem, NH

Join us for a Women’s Drum Circle with Kera Washington, percussionist, ethnomusicologist and band leader of Zili Misik. Come explore Haitian and West African culture, rhythm and song; the session will include structured teaching of traditional rhythms. Please bring a drum if you have one!

Tickets: Advance registration is highly recommended as space is limited. $20 at the door ($15 in advance), $15/WREN or AANNH Member at the door ($12 in advance), $12/child at the door ($10 in advance). Registration is available here. 

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Integrated Arts Workshop 
for elementary music, art, classroom, literacy, SPED & out-of-school educators

Tuesday, March 15, 3:30 p.m. networking & snacks, 4-5:30 p.m. workshop 

Plymouth Elementary School, 43 Old Ward Bridge Rd., Plymouth, NH

Join Kera for an exploration of ways that music and other art forms can be used to teach across the curriculum, reaching students of all abilities and learning styles. She’ll present several of her favorite lessons, including an English Language Arts lesson, using songs to teach vocabulary and grammar, and a lesson connecting math with musical notation and percussion instruments.

Cost: $15, $12 for educators from Arts Alliance member schools, $10 for Arts Alliance individual members and additional educators from a school or site. Partial scholarships are available – please inquire. Call 323-7302 or email us for more info. Professional development hours offered.

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Family Drum & Pizza Night  

Wednesday, March 16, 5:30 p.m. 

Medallion Opera House, 20 Park St., Gorham, NH

Come learn about Haitian & West African culture, rhythm & song! We'll learn to play traditional rhythms together. Pizza included! Please bring a drum if you have one.

Tickets: $8/adult, $4/student, $20/family.Tickets available at the door only. 

Special thanks to Gorham House of Pizza for donating pizzas for the event. (If you want to thank them by ordering your own pizzas in the future - 466-3002.)

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Watch a Sample

About the Artist


Kera Washington is an ethnomusicologist and the founder of Zili Misik, an all female world music ensemble performing roots music of the African Diaspora, or "New World Soul."

Washington is on the faculty in the Music Department of Wellesley College, MA, is a Music Teacher at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA, and, at Tufts University, is completing a dissertation on Haitian folkloric music, about folkloric arts and identity expressed through the music of Emerante de Pradines Morse.

Kera Washington has been performing and teaching music, using Boston as her base, for over two decades. She found her first love, percussion, while studying ethnomusicology at Wellesley College, Wesleyan University and Brown University. Washington is a multiple instrumentalist, a performer of percussion, african harps and "thumb pianos" (she is a beginning player of adungu, ngoni, mbira and akogo), of voice and vocal percussion, of flutes, and of piano. She has studied with master musicians from Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Brazil, and the United States, and has traveled to Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Palestine, and Cape Verde to advance her studies. In addition to her work as an elementary school teacher, artist and educator in the Boston area, she presented numerous workshops and music residencies in Boston and the surrounding New England area before she joined the full-time staff at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA. At Wellesley College, Washington is Artistic Director of the Yanvalou Drum and Dance Ensemble, which she co-founded, with Professor emeritus Gerdés Fleurant, and which, in 2010, celebrated its 20th year.

Washington was a semi-finalist in the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz International Hand Drumming Competition, held at the Jonh F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Sept 2001. With her ensemble Zili Misik, Washington's work has been recognized with a Commendation by the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2010 (for fundraising efforts on behalf of survivors of the earthquake in Haiti); with a Boston Music Award for Outstanding International Music, 2008; by the Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix, which have featured Zili and Washington, most recently in 2009, 2010 and 2011; by the Boston Phoenix/WFNX which proclaimed Zili Best World Music band in Boston, 2008 & 2009; and by NPR, which have featured Washington and Zili on public television as well as radio programs (see links).

Washington has recorded several albums with Zili Misik and others, and she has collaborated on several theater projects. She has performed and toured internationally with several ensembles.