… To launch its Jang-gu club in April
Drum artiste and Jang-gu pioneer in Nigeria, Isioma Williams, has urged for the provision of enhanced performing platforms for the growing number of Jang-gu, the Korea traditional drum, in Nigeria.
Williams spoke at the monthly culture day organised by the Korea Culture Center Nigeria (KCCN) in Abuja.
According to the drum expert, there are 50 Nigerian drummers trained in the art of the jang-gu, without the necessary instruments and platforms to practice and showcase their skills to the public.
“I am worried about their future, what they are to do with the skills they have acquired.”
Williams, who studied jang-gu at the National Theatre of South Korea, currently runs Jang-gu training workshops in Lagos, with the support of the KCCN, where he also operates an orchestra of variant traditional African drums including the Jang-gu.
As part of his personal efforts to addressing the limited availability of the jang-gu, to teach his students because of the high price tag on the instrument, the artiste crafted a local version of the instrument, fashioned out of metal and leather, as against the original wood and leather ones made in Korea.
He is also set to launch a Jang-gu Club on April 30. One that would focus on the promotion of the performance and advancement of the instrument. Addressing the media at the event, the new director of KCCN, Lee Jin Su said the event, aimed at highlighting the similarities between Korea and Nigeria, as with the Jang-gu and the Yoruba Bata drum, is targeted at arousing the nations shared sense of emotions and understanding.
In response to the challenges of facing Jang-gu performance in the country, Jin Su said the center will, in the future, look into measures to support the players, either financially or in the provision of platforms to showcase their skills to Nigerian audience.
The programme started with a brief introduction to the Jang-gu and the Williams journey towards the mastering and dissemination of the art in the country. A practical demonstration of the Jang-gu, by the artiste, followed. Williams instructed participants via series of Palmas (claps) in imitation of the beat he played, with the aid of a participant.
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