Bernard Woma impacted countless lives in WNY and beyond through his work performing and teaching in schools. He developed the African Drumming department with Dr Kay Stonefelt at SUNY Fredonia and trained generations of educators in African Music and culture from 1994-2018.
We are committed to preserving Bernard's legacy in WNY by continuing to entertain, educate and inspire audiences with authentic and interactive cultural experiences for students of all ages. In order to do this, we plan to host teachers from the DMC Ghana here at the DMC USA throughout the year and serve as an American headquarters for this international exchange in association with the Slyboots School of Music, Art and Dance and the Buffalo World Music and Dance Academy LLC.
--Dagara Music Center & The Slyboots School of Music, Art & Dance--
In the year 2000 Bernard launched the DMC Ghana and that very same year he performed at a Day of Percussion in Syracuse, NY where he met a 16 year old aspiring musician named Griffin Brady. In 2002 Griffin came to Fredonia to study and work with Bernard. In 2004 Griffin traveled to Ghana to stay at the DMC and there he met the members of the resident dance company, the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe; and together they began to develop the Slyboots School of Music, Art and Dance, modeled after the DMC in Ghana and designed to facilitate an international tour. In 2008, the dream became a reality and 15 members of the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe traveled to the US for the first time. Griffin served as a supporting musician, tour manager, booking agent, bus driver and chief logistician. This effort manifested into annual tours from 2008-2019 performing at schools, colleges, universities, clubs and festivals all over the US.
The Slyboots School supplements music and dance programs in schools across WNY. Slyboots also hosts weekly drum and dance classes, special events, festivals and began bringing groups of American students to DMC Ghana in 2010.
The Original Slyboots HQ is located in Buffalo, NY and has served as the American home of the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe and their contemporary collaborations; SLYKUMU and The Slyboots Circus- an international music and dance experience featuring circus arts, puppetry and story telling. Slyboots now has locations in Vermont, Colorado and North Carolina; Promoting positive social change through cultural arts education and performance. Bringing the world together, on the sly.
The Slyboots Circus is under the direction of Griffin Brady and Eric Ansuade of the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe.
Together Slyboots and SAAKUMU have performed/educated an estimated 40,000+ students EACH year from 2008-2019. Many of these experiences have been in collaborations with schools including:
Indiana University – Bloomington, IN
SUNY Fredonia- Fredonia, NY
University of Buffalo – Buffalo, NY
Goddard College – Plainfield, VT
Canisius College- Buffalo, NY
SUNY Buffalo- Buffalo, NY
Villa Maria College- Buffalo, NY
Daemen College- Buffalo, NY
University at Tennessee – Knoxville, TN
NYU- Manhattan, NY
Hamlin University- St Paul, MN
Gustavus Adolphus- St Peter, MN
Concordia College- Moorehead, MN
Alfred University- Alfred, NY
Berklee College of Music- Boston, MA
Colorado State University – Fort Collins, CO
Fort Lewis College- Durango, CO
Adams State College- Alamosa, CO
North Carolina University
Akron University- Akron, OH
Babson College- Boston, MA
Northern Michigan University – Marquette, MI
RIT – Rochester, NY
Eastman School of Music- Rochester, NY
…and many more.