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UBAKA HILL Performer, Master Teacher and Inspirational Speaker based in New York (USA). Ubaka is an creatively authentic, energetic performer, composer, songwriter, recording artist, public speaker, and teacher of hand drumming for more than 30 years throughout the United States and other countries. Ubaka says "my soul-vision is to facilitate and inspire personal transformation, empowerment, healing and joy with music that moves you".

Ubaka creatively weaves percussion, poetry and song to inspire a positive uplifting atmosphere for her diverse audiences everywhere she teaches and performs. She performs solo and with her ensemble RHYTHM DANCE, multi-instrumental and multi-cultural ensemble of talented musicians.

Ubaka’s music is unique and embraces many styles to create authentic, melodic and rhythmic musical forms from sacred to secular, ancient to contemporary. Her live performances and recorded music reflect our expanding drumming traditions, beliefs and changing times. With her vocals and spoken word poetry Ubaka’s instruments include the Djembe, Ube, Conga and Ashiko drums, Didgeridoo, Udu, and various percussion instruments.

Her primary focus as a teacher of hand drumming is to encourage, motivate, empower and stimulate joyfulness. Ubaka creates environments to reconnect with ancient wisdom and drumming traditions using sound as a tool for personal transformation, healing and celebration; to re-activate our relationship to rhythm and pulse, to learn how to participate in community drum circles and group music making; recognize ourselves as active participants on the continuum of folkloric drumming and musical traditions; to foster positive public recognition, awareness and appreciation of the evolving women’s drumming culture. (Reviews)

Founder of the Million Women Drummers Gathering Global Initiative (MWDG) and the Drumsong Institute Museum and Archive of Women's Drumming Traditions of women's ancient, contemporary folkloric and contemporary drum and percussion traditions. She is one of the co-founders of the Catskill Women's World Drum & Percussion Happen'n. She is creator of the DrumMa Award, which acknowledges women drummers who are pioneers. Ubaka is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Women's Leadership Center at Omega Institute, NY.

Ubaka is a teacher who loves to teach. She makes learning the art of drumming accessible to all who want to explore the language and power of drumming. Ubaka has the ability to integrate all skill levels and various drums into collectively creating and playing exciting, healing and rejuvenating music. Drumsong The Art and Spirit of Drumming workshops have also included deaf/hard-of-hearing women and at-risk youth. Sharing her joy of drumming, Ubaka founded and directs The Drumsong Orchestra in performance with the participants of her Drumsong Workshops. This has become her signature format of teaching and performing.  Hundreds have attended Ubaka's Drumsong workshops and have performed and recorded with her.

Ubaka's workshops are for people of all ages, various skill levels and physical abilities including deaf and hard of hearing throughout the US, including Hawaii, Alaska, and internationally in Canada, Australia and Japan; at local, national and international music festivals, community centers, healthcare facilities, holistic retreat centers, coffeehouses, conferences and concert halls.

Ubaka fills any size venue with compassionate, engaging, exciting, moving, contagious enthusiasm in both solo and ensemble performances. Ubaka’s rhythmic and lyrical ideas are not only inspired by her own personal stories but the stories of many people. From street gatherings to the bedside of the sick, in theater productions and coffeehouses, concert halls, campuses and conferences, in healing circles and ceremonies, with children and elders, Ubaka shares her resonating voice and the voice of the drum for healing and joyful community. (Reviews)

"Beyond The Wind" is  the title of Ubaka's latest CD, featuring the ShapeShifters, The Drumsong Orchestra, and guest women drummers and singers from across the US. Her other CDs are: "ShapeShifters" and "Dance The Spiral Dance" both feature local New York area professional drummers, musicians and The Drumsong Orchestra as well. Ubaka enjoys creative collaboration with artists, musicians and presenters; Vicki Noble, Aleah Long, Afia WalkingTree, Kay Gardner, Randy Crafton, Judy Piazza, Elizabeth Lesser, Maria Breyer, Bev Grant, Caru Thompson, Mosa Baczewska and Fre Atlast. She has recorded with artists Alix Olsen, Shawna Carol, Xtine Baczewska the Spirit of Life Ensemble and on other projects. (Read More)

Ubaka has been interviewed and is quoted in major holistic health and healing and leadership publications, books, film and local news, academic research papers and documentaries such as Eco Heros, The Chronogram, In The Footsteps of the Goddess, Eden Built By Eves, The Courage To Be, Omega Institute Wisdom Channel and Gathering of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers She is one of the artists featured in the award winning documentary "Radical Harmonies."

She has a natural talent for art and oil painting on canvas for 30 years as well .  Her fine art oil paintings have been sold, exhibited and made into prints and note cards.   She is a crafter of drum related arts & crafts and accessories. (learn more)

The "Ubaka Hill Signature Drum - The UBE ! " (oo-bay) - co-designed with and hand-crafted by Raven Tekwe - Wing of the Heron Drums. The "UBE !" drum is built based on Ubaka's specifications, inspired by her Djembe from Mali. The name "UBE !" is Ubaka and Djembe combined, a new name for a new drum. The "UBE!" was presented to the world in 2003. The Ube ! drum is currently out of production.

Ubaka has received awards and special recognition for her leadership in the arts over the years. . Sojourner Truth Community Arts Award (2015), Legends and Icons (2015) Drum Magazine's national poll, she was voted 3rd as  "Best Workshop Facilitator" (2001). She received "Drummer of the Year Award 2002 from The Voices of Africa Choral Ensemble, Inc.  In 2005 and 2006 she was given Honorary Citizenship and Proclamation of "Ubaka Hill Day" by the City of Harrisburg, PA and in 2007 by North Carolina.

Ubaka is an inspiration to many and she is motivated and inspired to realize her life vision by many historical and contemporary visionaries, artists, musicians and activists. She is inspired by the life and work of Kay Gardner, Oprah Winfrey, Maria Gimbutas, Baba Olatunji, Elizabeth Lesser, Dorothy Stoneman, Bev Grant, Sarah Vaughn, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Vicki Noble, Alice Walker, Lisa Vogel, Layne Redmond, Abby Lincoln, Martin Luther King, John Coltrane, Sun Bear, Pharaoh Sanders, Jayne Cortez, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Daoud Williams, Edwina Lee Tyler and the majestic natural beauty of the Earth.

Concerts, Workshops and Conference weavings have included, Women & Power, NY, Institute for the Musical Arts,(MA), The Flurry (NY) Beloved Festival (OR), Omega Institute (NY), Kripalu (MA), Harrisburg Arts Festival (PA), Rowe Conference Center (MA), Gathering of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (NY), NY Open Center (NY), Miller Branch Library (NJ), Born To Drum (CA), Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, Naropa Institute (CO), Harrisburg Artsfest (PA), Clearwater Revival (NY), Goddess Festival (NY), National Women's Music Festival (IN), The Crossings (TX), Carolista Festival (NC), Women of Wisdom Conference (WA), Sister Singers Conference (CA), Concert of Colors (MI), Aeolian Hall CAN), Hollyhock (BC), Mountain Moving Coffeehouse (IL) as well as in Australia, Canada and Japan and South America.

To Book Concerts, Workshops, Interviews and Bookings : BookingUbakaHill@aol.com


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Concerts .Workshops . Interviews


• Musical Director of Rhythm Dance,
ShapeShifters and The Drumsong Orchestra

• Master Teacher of the Art & Spirit of Drumming

• Performer, Singer, Song-Writer and Recording Artist

• Founder of the Drumsong Museum and Archives of Women's Drumming Traditions

• Founder of the Million Women Drummers Gathering Global Initiative

• Creator of the DrumMa Award

• Inspirational Speaker and Presenter

• Visual Artist Hand Crafter

• Women's Leadership Center at Omega Institute - Advisory Council Member


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" Thank you for your powerful voice"
-Oakland, Ca.

"Such a wonderful spirit and presence"-
Mich. Womyn's Music Fest.

"A powerful performance"

"Exceptional Teacher -
Earth Rhythms, Reading. Pa.

"It was great learning from a woman"
- Montreal, Can.

"You make beautiful music to our eyes"
- Drum workshop for deaf women

"I'd rather listen to your drumming than
to any singer's singing"
- 8 yr. old workshop participant, Va.





Ubaka Hill CDs
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