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The Joy Collaborative

Jeannine, you must embrace Joy. You must go to Africa.

- St. Hildegard of Bingen

I never would have dreamed that St. Hildegard would guide me to Africa to explore Joy. I will never forget the day this journey began.

One Saturday morning, I was at the Farmer’s Market in Boulder. I felt like a Mack truck had hit me. The grief my body was holding was so heavy I could barely breathe. And then I heard it: “da-da dink-dink dink-dink dink-dink da-dink-dink.” Music notes like little drops of joy were floating through the rays of Colorado sunshine, gently entering me, and I could feel myself begin to breathe more comfortably.

The sadness I had felt for years was lifting. Like a child following the Pied Piper of Hamlin, I followed the music until I found the marimba band Kutandara. I wanted to stay there forever just soaking in the Joy of the “inanimate objects that sing” (=marimba!).

Years later I am in the midst of a journey to deeply experience and share the Joy Collaborative. I asked David Sharp and Gary Grundei, two powerfully creative musicians, to explore the music of Africa with me. We met weekly for two years experiencing the music of a different African country each week. We fell deeply in love with the drums, the kora, as well as the voices, smiles, and beauty of the African musicians. David and I are play the marimba at the Kutandara Center.

We sang African songs with Nii Armah Sowah, a Ghanaian-born arts educator ( “Boba, he-he-he boba!” In May 2012, David and I took Nii Armah’s African Dance class at CU. There we were every day for three hours all month in traditional Ghanaian dress keeping up with the twenty-year-old college students as Nii Armah made African dance accessible to us-–emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

We are happy to share the fruits of our labors with you through The Joy Collaborative website.  Click here to experience JOY!

The Music of Viriditas
Don't Hold Back
Feathers On The Breath Of God
is a theatrical, musical and visual performance that illuminates the journey to wholeness of an artist living in the 21st century, inspired by Hildegard of Bingen.

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