As part of the 60th anniversary of the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre of Ghana in collaboration with a guest xylophone player from New York City, U.S.A. presents the 2nd edition of “Tierra Pura” a classical musical concert fused with xylophone music and drums.
Our guest artist who is experienced and an excellent xylophone player is one of the most decorated artist in the field of xylophone music.
Valerie Naranjo is the first person to compose concert for gyil (West African Mariamba) and wind ensemble as well transcribed mariamba solos and arranged concerts of several traditional gyil pieces for wind ensemble and orchestra, Beall and Pendarois orchestra.
She began composing as a child on ute (Red Indian) tradition of Southern Colorado.
After two (2) musical compositions, she apprenticed in West Africa to master percussionist, gyil maestro, Kakraba Lobi.
Kakraba and Valerie produced the multi movement series “West African music for the Marimba solos”, “Joro” for gyil and orchestra and “Pure Heart” for gyil and wind ensemble.
In Lawra, Ghana, she and her husband won the only honour at the “Kobine Festival” An award given to non-west African musicians or percussionist of the West African mariamba or xylophone.
She has been a percussionist for Saturday Night live band for 24 years, was the first musician on the Lion King on Broadway and also performed with artists like Glen Velez, Paul Writer and the African/Jazz Percussion ensemble “Mandara”.
The Drum Magazine reader’s poll named her “World music percussionist of the year in 2005 and 2008 and mallet player of the year in 2012. Valerie Navanjo and the National Symphony Orchestra performs at the National Theatre from 29th through 30th june 2019 at 7:00pm each night.</p.