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The Za Boom Ba Team facebooktwitter_us

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You've seen them somewhere... Maybe you've even grooved with them...or danced with them. They are part of the community spirit...bringing excitement and making changes in the community. This is the engine behind Za Boom Ba. This team is not just an ensemble – it is a beautifully tuned rhythm machine, bringing together massive experience, incredible passion, and representing the superb talents in Tucson. Here they are: the Za Boom Ba team!

Contact Us > Tel: 512.293.2400 | Email: kenya@ZaBoomBa.com


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Danielle_Berrien
Kenya Masala Creative Director & Interactive Rhythm Facilitator
Kenya is a dose of invigoration and vitality. With charismatic style and effusive energy, he throughly engages participants as he facilitates training seminars, leadership development programs, outdoor adventures and educational percussion programs. As the Director of the Source Consulting Group and a national organizational development consultant and trainer, Kenya ushers groups through the hard work of deepening and expanding excellence, and inspires them to celebration. In addition to delivering a unique blend of interactive rhythm facilitation and innovative information on strengthening workplace and community relationships, he designs and develops national multimedia curricula and interactive presentations. Kenya is a REMO endorsed rhythm program facilitator and the published author of the international classic rhythm activity book, RhythmPlay!™. He has released his second album, “Spacious Time and is a member of the Tucson-based Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school / performance ensemble, Batucaxé. His favorite job, however, is being a father and a husband.

Why Za Boom Ba?
To share the thrill of the jam with as many people as I can!

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Danielle_Berrien
Gabriela Masala M.A. Dance Director & Choreographer
Gabriela, who has been dancing since she could walk, believes that dance is medicine and a birthright of all people. In addition to being the Dance Director and Choreographer for Za Boom Ba, she has performed professionally with The Rhythm of Life! Ensemble, served as the founding director and choreographer for the Austin Samba School in Austin, Texas, and currently dances with Tucson’s Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble, Batucaxé. An energetic and creative facilitator and consultant, Gabriela works with groups and individuals in the areas of wellness, personal development and ecumenical spirituality to help nurture the mind, body and soul. She is Co-Director of the Source Consulting Group, the founder of The One Love Alliance and a long-time student and facilitator of Yoga, dance, meditation, Martial Arts and Healing Arts. Living her inner calling and cultivating intuitive seeing for over 20 years, Gabriela is a visionary artist, author, mother and lover of life. She serves on the faculty for the resort-based Shape Your Life programs, and is a former employee of The Chopra Center for Well Being and Canyon Ranch Health Resort and Spa.

Why Za Boom Ba?
Because rhythm is not a spectator sport! This vibrant life force lives in all of us.

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Cliff Berrien Percussionist
Cliff has over 30 years of experience as a professional DJ and musician. He has been a life-long percussion student of many music traditions, including styles from Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa and India. His experience as a DJ and MC for events has taken him to locations throughout the United States and all over the world, including Germany, Japan and the Netherlands. Currently, Cliff is the Artistic Director of Batucaxé, the Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble in Tucson, Arizona, and works as an adjunct teacher at the University of Arizona and Tucson High Magnet School. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a substantial interest in wellness of body, mind and spirit, Cliff performs and facilitates health-promoting drum and dance circles at Canyon Ranch Health Resort and the 17th Street Guitars and World Music Store in Tucson.

Why Za Boom Ba?
Za Boom Ba integrates and evokes several of my life's passions; drumming, creativity and community building.  And it is a great celebration of our shared humanity!

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Danielle_Berrien
Kenya Johnson Dancer
A native of Tucson, Arizona, Kenya began dancing when she was three-years old and her mother enrolled her in a classical ballet school. As a lifelong student of dance, she's studied and performed a variety of genres beyond ballet, including West African, flamenco, jazz, modern, and even a little belly dancing, hip-hop and Broadway-style. In 2009, Kenya turned 40, started her own marketing consultation business, Kenya Johnson Consulting, began dancing as a member of the Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble Batucaxé, and wasted no time in saying "Yes!" when she was invited to be a part of Za Boom Ba. Kenya sends love and a special thanks to her husband, Dan, and their daughter, Zoë, for their support and for understanding the importance that dancing – whether it is in class, on a stage or in the living room – plays in her life.

Why Za Boom Ba? 
I could not have dreamed of being a part of something so unique and spectacular with people I consider friends and family.

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Danielle_Berrien
Yarrow King Dancer
Yarrow has studied, taught and performed West African, Brazilian, Caribbean, Contemporary and Fusion dance in Tucson, Arizona, and abroad for more than 18 years. She choreographs performance pieces combining traditional and contemporary forms of dance and is the Dance Director for Batucaxé, the Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble in Tucson. Yarrow has studied extensively with world-renowned dancer and choreographer, Rosangela Silvestre, as well as other esteemed teachers such as Rodson Santos de Jesus, Dandha Da Hora, Ananada Brazil, Dr. Ojeya Cruz Banks, Eno Washington and Professora Grace Marrom. Yarrow's passion is to inspire and encourage people to dance, move and live freely and expansively through high-energy performance and engaging classes. Her teaching style welcomes students into an experience of fun, safety and creativity, and encourages participants to explore their own self-expression and emotional, mental and physical well-being..

Why Za Boom Ba? 
It's an opportunity to fulfill a professional dream - being on a vibrant team of musicians and dancers deeply celebrating life! It's a chance to be in this joyful and exciting show~ where the audience is a part of that team !

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Danielle_Berrien
Kimi Eisele Dancer
A dancer, choreographer, writer and educator, Kimi studied ballet, jazz, modern, musical theatre and tap until she was 17. She gave up dancing for sports, a social life and travel. A decade later, while in Tucson, Arizona, she was re-introduced to West African and other African-based, redefining her perception of movement and dance as communication forever. Kimi eventually found her way back to modern dance and is now the Special Projects Director for NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre, where she has directed, facilitated and performed in collaborative projects covering themes such as gay marriage, the food system and downtown public space. She has performed with the Dance Exchange in Washington, DC and Urban Bush Women in Brooklyn, New York, and has danced in Tucson with Thom Lewis Dance, O-T-O Aerial/Modern Dance Company, Odaiko Sonora and The Rhythm of Life Ensemble. Kimi is a co-founder and member of the improv performance group, Movement Salon and makes her living teaching writing and dance to K-12 students in arts-deprived, rural schools throughout Southeast Arizona.

Why Za Boom Ba? 
I love accessing joy through dance and the drumming – and being a part of something that actively seeks to give that same joy to others!

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Danielle Berrien Instrument Runner Coordinator
Music and dance – especially the World Culture genre – have been mainstay interests for Danielle since she completed a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in the Caribbean more than 20 years ago. She became a percussion student in 1990 when she first met Cliff Berrien, who was at that time directing a small ensemble called The Alchemy Rhythm Band. And she has been playing music ever since! In 2001, Danielle became a founding member of the Tucson Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble, Batucaxé, where she continues to play in the batería and serve on its Board of Directors. This musician and dancer also owns her own academic and life coaching business, Open Horizons, and she is deeply committed to facilitating transformative personal growth with teens, young adults and adults who are ready and willing to achieve their life goals..

Why Za Boom Ba?
I've had the opportunity to experience Carnival in the Caribbean twice and loved the communal celebration of life through music and dance. To share the creation of a similar experience, using drums? Oh yeah, count me in!


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Alfie Villegas Percussionist
Alfie is a passionate individual, especially when it comes music. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, he has been around music all his life. His experience began in school bands and drumline when he was younger and also includes performing jazz and concerts, and playing steel drums and West African drums. He enjoys performing and listening to all kinds of music and credits the positive influence of the great teachers he has worked with for helping him become a well-rounded musician. Alfie, who is a member of the Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble, Batucaxé, plays a variety of instruments and wants to share his enthusiasm and interest in music with his community and especially children. His favorite musical instrument in his large collection is the pandero, which really lets him jam!

Why Za Boom Ba? 
I love to play music and I love share it with everyone that surrounds me. Even better I love being around people that inspire me to become a more uplifting and vibrant person, and Za Boom Ba does just that!

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Jade Twilite Beall Dancer
Jade should have been born in West Africa, but instead, she came into this world via the Sonoran desert of Tucson, Arizona. Her first exploration of movement was traditional Mexican folklorico dance in the small village of Yelapa, Mexico, where she grew up. When Jade moved back to Tucson at the age of 14, she experienced the style of dance that would forever change her life: traditional West African dance. She sought out the most influential and inspirational dance teachers to study with and eventually found herself in Guinea, West Africa, on several occasions where she has studied with Youssouf Koumbassa, Moustapha Bangoura and several other teachers from Les Ballet Africains. Dancer, dance teacher, massage therapist, photographer…to put it simply, Jade loves life – a lot!

Why Za Boom Ba?
I am part of Za Boom Ba because I believe that dancing, singing and creating joy are truly phenomenal for the greater benefit of the World. Za Boom Ba is PHENOMENAL and is infecting our world with pure 100% love!

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Mike Zecchino Percussionist
Mike has been a musician and performer for over 25 years. He grew up in Rochester, New York, to music teacher parents, and their patience has been tried ever since. Mike has followed his passion for Brazilian rhythms and music as a performer with Batucaxé, the Tucson-based Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble he joined in 2005.Today, he is one of the group's Assistant Directors. Mike, who directed the a cappella group, Catacoustic Groove, for over 10 years, is the chief engineer and producer at the Nail Recording Studio in Tucson, Arizona. He recently released his second solo CD, “Life in the Funnel.”

Why Za Boom Ba? 
I love music and rhythm to my core, and I love sharing both with friends. Extending that joy through performance is a huge, joyous part of my life. Being able to involve hundreds of friends in a collaborative creation, however...that gives me goosebumps.

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Bete Pfister Dancer
For Bete, dance not only inspires and feeds her soul, it is a channel for her life force. Having danced her entire life, Bete was first introduced to Afro-Brazilian dance in the late 90's while living in Santa Cruz. After eight years in the Gulf of California, she discovered samba again in Tucson with Batucaxé, the Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble she joined in 2009. Bete’s other passions – the ocean, snorkeling and scuba diving – set in motion earning a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Skidmore College in New York, as well as a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. When she is not dancing, Bete is busy being a mom to her two children and teaching Spanish at the Tucson Waldorf School. She thanks her family for their loving and continuing support as she realizes her dream of dancing professionally.

Why Za Boom Ba?
This is a chance to live my passion for dance with an amazing group of juicy, devoted, fun, remarkably talented lovers of life and to share an amazing, energizing, mind-blowing experience with hundreds of others.

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Danielle_Berrien
Jeff Simpson Percussionist
Coming from a musical family and using his singing, guitar and kazoo talents as a street performer, Jeff learned early on that you could make music just about anywhere and people would appreciate it. This vocalist and multi-instrumentalist loves connecting with audiences and seeing his enthusiasm for music and performing become contagious. Before joining the Tucson-based Afro-Brazilian drum and dance school and performance ensemble Batucaxé, Jeff had never really drummed. One day, however, he heard Batucaxé playing, his jaw dropped and he turned around so fast that he practically gave himself whiplash. He knew he had to do it! The fact that his mother was born in Brazil helped a little, too. A native son of Arizona's mining towns and an avid outdoorsman, he continues to explore unconventional musical ideas and improv in his spare time.

Why Za Boom Ba?
Who could resist it? I cannot resist the beat. I'm a drum junkie!

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Danielle_Berrien
Robert Peizer Percussionist
Robert “Swami” Peizer started playing hand drums, percussion and the kalimba during the early 90’s in the cultural melting pot of San Francisco. He started studying Middle Eastern music and quickly migrated to West African (Guinea, Senegal, Mali and Nigeria), Central African (Congolese), Caribbean (Trinidad) and Latin (Puerto Rico and Cuba). He also played in world beat, jazz, hip-hop and electronic music ensembles with musicians such as Eddie Gayle and Jersey Foreman. Swami led his own percussion group, Rhythm Spirit, in the Bay Area for many years, and since moving to Tucson, Arizona, in 2003, he has played in a number of groups including traditional African; flamenco fusion; reggae, funk, afro-pop and marimba.


Why Za Boom Ba?  It's the people and the adventure of the vison.  The opportunity to play with this team is incredible and the interactive nature of
Za Boom Ba is totally exciting!

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CONTACT US

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Tel: 512.293.2400 | Email: kenya@ZaBoomBa.com

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY

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X8 Drums                   Rainbow                    Source Consulting Grooup

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© 2009 ZaBoomBa.com. All Rights Reserved. ZaBoomBa™ is a trademark of Source Consulting Group
Team Photos: Jade Beall, masking by Ahmed Abed

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