Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
A sacred space dedicated to learning djembe hand techniques, basic drum patterns, melodies and songs, and building sisterhood. *Drums are provided; you are welcome to bring your own, too.
Students from Women’s Drum Class perform at Wacheva’s 2011 Annual Fundraiser Showcase
Instructor: Jill Ouikahilo
Jill Finochio Ouikahilo was born and raised in Liverpool, New York, and into a life of athletics. From an early age, she began to express interest in moving her body by becoming highly involved in sports, and had successful high school and college athletic careers.
In 2002, she traveled to Oahu, HI and ran the Honolulu Marathon–a lifelong goal. She then moved to the island of Kauai and felt inspired to take an African drum class, which was an all-women’s class taught by Isa Maria. The women in the class convinced her to also join them in their weekly African dance class with Linda. After Jill’s first African dance class she was hooked. It wasn’t long before her performance career began when she became a member of the local dance and drum troupe that performed at various events on the island.
Jill followed her passion for African dance and drum to New York City, so she could study under master teachers from Africa. She landed at Djoniba Dance and Drum Center and studied under world-renowned teachers, such as Vado Diomande, Djoniba Mouflet, Biboti Ouikahilo and Maguette Camara. Jill also began to learn additional multicultural dance forms, including samba, afro-cuban and belly dance. She worked as a work-study student at Djoniba’s center.
In 2003, Jill moved back to her hometown, Syracuse, NY, and continued her study of multicultural dance forms, including traditional African dance under Biboti Ouikahilo. In 2009, she began to instruct her own women’s drum class to share basic techniques in playing the djembe drum and to create a powerful women’s space.