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Award Winning Musicians Dana Gae, Alessandra Belloni, and Saco Yasuma Join Goddard Riverside's W.H.A.M. Festival 

This month, more than 110+ women artists will be featured in events covering theater, music, dance, comedy, poetry, films, and more. 

Award Winning Musicians Dana Gae, Alessandra Belloni, and Saco Yasuma Join Goddard Riverside's W.H.A.M. Festival 

Goddard Riverside kicked-off its 6th Annual W.H.A.M. (Women History Artist Month) Festival on March 1st with an opening night reception, curated by Artspeak Collective, featuring a visual art exhibit of 17 female artists.

Every March during Women's History Month, Goddard Riverside's Community Arts Program hosts an exciting month-long arts festival celebrating female artists. All events are written, directed, performed, or produced by women.

This year, for the first time ever, the W.H.A.M. festival will go virtual. This month, more than 110+ women artists will be featured in events covering theater, music, dance, comedy, poetry, films, and more.

To start the festival, Upper Westside Live hosts Afro Roots Tuesdays as they open the WHAM concert series on Tuesday March 2nd with one of NYC's most dynamic and creative singers. Dana Gae is a vocalist's vocalist who seems to be able to impart any quality of sound or emotion. Her Jamaican roots can be heard through the rhythmic and lyrical phrasings in her improvisations. A composer of many songs, her knowledge of her Caribbean ancestry comes from several hundred years learned in the oral tradition.

Tuesday, March 16th we feature the award-winning tambourine virtuoso, singer, dancer and actress, Alessandra Belloni. Born in Rome, Italy, Alessandra is committed to preserving the strong and rich traditions of her culture. Born in Rome, she is the only woman in the United States and Italy who specializes in traditional Southern Italian folk dances and percussion combined with singing. She is also founder, artistic director and lead performer of I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA, an Italian music, theatre and dance ensemble in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

The 2021 WHAM Festival closes on Tuesday March 30th with Saco Yasuma. Saco is a Japanese-born, New York-based composer, lyricist, singer, keyboardist, and percussionist. Saco studied classical piano and played in rock, reggae and funk bands in Tokyo before moving to New York. Once in New York she continued her musical journey as a saxophonist, playing Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, jazz and free improvisational music. Several years ago Saco began incorporating all of the different musical styles she'd experienced and weaved them together with the sounds and sensibilities of her native Japan. Her music is soothing, healing, uplifting and joyful.

"The WHAM festival is such an integral part of the Community Arts Program, and we weren't going to allow the circumstance to stop us from celebrating the work of all these talented female artists," said Community Arts Program Manager Amanda Hopper. "Showcasing female artistic voices in the WHAM festival really exemplifies Goddard Riverside's commitment to investing in our people and delivering art to the community, which is so necessary in these uncertain times."

There is a suggested $10 donation for all WHAM events, however, everyone is welcome to contribute whatever amount is they wish. All proceeds from the W.H.A.M. festival go toward supporting the artists and the Performing Arts Conservatory.

The Performing Arts Conservatory is an intensive summer arts education program for children ages 8 to 14. The staff of experienced educators and professional artists teach discipline, confidence and creative thinking to the approximately 75 young people who participate each summer. The funds raised during the WHAM festival provide essential support for the Conservatory and help make it truly inclusive by allowing us to serve all young people regardless of their experience or economic circumstance. The 7 week program culminates in a spectacular performance involving theater, music, and dance.

To find out more about the festival and purchase tickets, visit our website at https://goddard.org/wham/


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