References: Bonga is an accredited teaching artist who has worked through the NYC Board of Education, the Westchester Arts Council, New Jersey Center for the Performing Arts, the YMCA and other institutions.
“Bonga is a world class performing artist whose knowledge and dedication to drumming is an inspiration. His interactive workshops engage participants in a cultural learning process that broadens perspectives. His gentle leadership opens, hearts, minds and talents that his students didn’t realize the possess.”
Westchester Arts Council
White Plains, NY
“Gaston Jean Baptiste’s group is a rare exemplar of authentic African Dahomey and Ibo cultural repertoire, which has been preserved in their family’s traditional social and religious practices for many generations.”
Thomas van Buren, Ph.D.
Director of Field Research
The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (New York City)
Folk and Traditional Arts Program, Westchester Arts Council (White Plains, NY)
"The connection between Bonga and the students was immediate and magical. We want him back. Thank you Bonga!!"
Principal, Liberty High School
New York City Board of Education
"...Bonga did an exceptional job with a very challenging group of kids....Bonga was able to relate to them at their level and attempted to transmit some basic ideas about drum skills to them.
The boys enjoyed playing with Bonga so much. Many of them picked up enough skills to perform with him and look forward to his return so they can."
Mia de Bethune
Dobbs Ferry, New York
"I would like to extend to you our warmest and heartfelt thanks for becoming part of our lives. You have truly enriched each of our children through music..."
Coordinator School-Age Program
Union Child Day Care Center, Inc.
White Plains, NY
Letters From Kids
I like your drums and your maracas and I liked Ra-Ra. I can't wait until you come back.
I thought you did very good yesterday at the dance. I like the way your music sounds and I like when I play your instruments. You are my favorite music player. I want to be a music player when I grow up."
I think you're very good at music. It is good when we play music. I like when we dance."
I enjoyed what you have taught me. I liked when we sang songs and played with instruments. I also liked when you gave us turns to play with your drum. I hope you visit again.
I miss the drums and I hope you come back. Rara was great and I liked when we got ice pops. I miss you Bonga.
Thank you for the wonderful time. I learned a lot of new things. I liked to play the instruments.
Truly Yours, Torry"
Tom van Buren, Ph.D
For additional references, please call contact us