Cajon & Percussion: Outside The Box

41 3Arts supporters
$3,170 raised of $3,000 goal
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JoVia Armstrong's project was funded on October 03, 2015
    • 3Arts matched
    • 106% contributed

In a Nutshell

Ever since I began studying percussion at the age of 12, I’ve had a fascination with creating new rhythms and sounds within the world of percussive music. For the past seven years, I have devoted myself to experimenting with the cajon, a box-shaped instrument of Afro-Peruvian origin that is played by hitting the sides and corners with your hands or other implements. I developed my own technique for playing the cajon, turning it into a hybrid drum kit that expands its range of sound and adds a new and unique dimension to any ensemble. As a musician as well as a teaching artist, I am now raising funds for a video shoot that will document my playing technique through a series of taped lessons and demos, which could be used to cultivate discovery and experimentation with this instrument. I am also hoping this will help increase my exposure and opportunities as I seek to further my artistic career. 


The Full Story...

“How many sounds can I make at once?” This was one of the first questions I asked when I began experimenting with a cajon, and it has shaped my philosophy as a musician. Not only do I play the cajon with my feet as well as my hands, but I also incorporate a hi-hat, cymbals, and other instruments to create a hybrid cajon drum kit. There are few percussionists in the world who play the cajon in this capacity. It creates a different sound from a traditional drum set, and helps the player experiment with and develop a unique sense of rhythm.

There are very few hand percussion programs being taught in colleges and universities. It is not held in as high esteem as orchestral percussion or drumset playing. Other global traditions of drumming and percussion are also difficult to find and learn about.

I think my videos will help fill this gap and lead musicians to be more creative and experiment with rhythms outside of what we normally hear. The videos will take place over two days.  The first day will be short detailed lessons in cajon technique. The second day of taping will show those same exact lessons being applied with a full band. This is so viewers can hear the application of those drum methods within an ensemble. I think of these videos as intended for the restless, the risk takers, and the rhythmic rabble-rousers who want to offer audiences more than the standard groove. 

With my work as a teacher, I have a lot of experience educating students about music and creating video demos as educational tools. With funds raised through this campaign, I will be able to hire a professional videographer and crew, as well as a band to help demonstrate ensemble playing. I will also be able to pay for equipment, studio time, and technical support to put these videos on my website.

Thank you for helping me bring this project to life! 

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $20 - Facebook & Twitter shout out
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $30 - Autographed copy of my upcoming album
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50 - Free entry to upcoming cajon workshop this fall
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75 - Commemorative t-shirt from the project
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $150 - Personalized “Thank You” video shown at the end of video, and your name listed in the video credits
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $300 - All of the above, plus VIP invitation to private taping of full band performance tapings.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
JoVia Armstrong image
Daringly innovative, percussionist and educator JoVia Armstrong is a well-traveled musician and a Sabian-endorsed artist. Detroit-bred, she is winner of the 2014 Best Black Female Percussionist of the Year through ...
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