“My drum is a spiritual connection to the African ancestors and to the world around me."
Karen Smith is the proud recipient of a 2023 Pew Fellowship grant. https://www.pewcenterarts.org/2023grants
A New York Native/Philadelphia Transplant, Karen is a percussionist, playwright, director, producer, and poet. She is also the founder and leader of two musical collectives: The Karen Smith Experience, and Sistahs Laying Down Hands with Love (SLDH).
"I create spaces where other artists can join in a spirit of trust and improvisation.”
For more than 10 years Karen Smith has been taking her drums on the road with her movement, Have Drums Will Travel Immediately. She has provided rhythms for projects in the Delaware Valley Tri-state area, and also in Alabama, Houston, Atlanta, and Jamaica, West Indies. She also performed at the United States Human Rights Network Conference. Karen captures "the rhythm of a place and the cadences of people.” The beat continues wherever the movement may take her!
Karen Smith curates artistic projects, hosts private drumming lessons, provides musical backgrounds, plays at festivals, and especially loves collaborations!
As part of Anula Shetty’s Philly Daydreams: Stories In Transit, percussionist, Karen Smith shares the world she imagines in her Philly Daydream while riding the Broad Street Subway, against the background of the soothing, meditative sounds of her tongue drum.
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