In this family-friendly event, Kafari (rhythm bones) and Jake Hoffman (banjo, guitar, voice) will lead an experience that is part concert and part history lesson, sing-along, square dance, and music class. After a short performance, audience members will have the opportunity to engage directly with the artists, learning to play the bones, lifting their voices in song, dancing in partners and groups, and engaging in a communal play-along. Kafari and Jake will finish the experience with another performance incorporating audience members’ newly learned skills. Singing, moving, clapping, and clicking along will be greatly encouraged throughout the event. Jake Hoffman and Kafari are two musicians with a love of old-time music, teaching, storytelling, and improvised art.
Multi-instrumentalist and singer, Jake Hoffman was raised on jazz and rock ‘n’ roll and spent his adulthood studying American folk musics. He has toured in 20 states and 11 countries — performing and teaching ballads, gospel and dance music from Appalachia and the American South. A community arts and cultural exchange advocate, Jake has lived in the Portland area since 2009 and is a teaching artist and program manager with 317 Main Community Music Center.
Kafari is a pianist, beatmaker, and bluegrass percussionist, specializing in the rhythm bones – an ancient instrument played by holding two in one hand, flicking the wrist forward and backward to create sound. He first became inspired to play the bones after seeing a concert that debunked his assumptions about bluegrass and exposed him to the African-American roots of traditional bluegrass and old-time music. A resident of Portland since 2011, Kafari enjoys teaching bones to passersby on the city streets and in classrooms across the state.