After their sold-out concerts in February 2020, June 2022, & May 2023 WorldBeat Marimba and the Stairwells are excited to serve up their amazing blend of South African, Zimbabwean, Namibian, Gospel, Reggae, AfroPop Highlife and Contemporary songs. A celebration of music, culture and community featuring handmade South African marimbas, world percussion, mesmerizing choral arrangements and rhythms from around the globe. Featuring special guests, Ben Baldwin, vocals, mbira, sax with Lisa Marshall, vocals and Marty Quinn, world percussion & drums.
Randy Armstrong & WorldBeat Marimba perform South African, Zimbabwe and Popular Songs on handmade South African Marimbas, Trinidad/Tobago Steel Pans, World Percussion and Vocals. Their exciting collaborative concerts include performances with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops! and with choruses Voices from the Heart, Ben Baldwin and the Stairwells, Songweavers, and the WorldBeat Marimba Singers. When listening and experiencing this upbeat and vibrant music, you will want to get up to dance and sing! It is a celebration of life and the art of unified ensemble playing. Featuring special guests, Cynthia Chatis, Voice and Marty Quinn, drums.
Randy Armstrong has been hailed by the Boston Globe as “a sure-fingered, guitar virtuoso” and Downbeat Magazine has called his music “a marvelous kaleidoscope of shifting melodies, rhythms and instrumental colors.“ He was the Director of the Phillips Exeter Academy African Drumming Ensemble and North Indian Music Program from 1991 to 2020 and has taught courses for the Plymouth State University Integrated Arts Graduate Studies. Randy was selected to be the 2017-2018 artist in residence for the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra and was the recipient of the 2017 New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award for Arts Education. Randy is the co-founder of Do’a World Music Ensemble, Unu Mondo and Beyond Borders has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Alaska, Belize, India, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and South Africa and West Africa. He has appeared on over 60 albums, theater and film scores and has been the recipient of numerous grants from the National Endowment on the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts. As a composer and recording artist, he has released a solo CD: No Regrets: and a double CD soundtrack for the 4-part PBS primetime series, Dinner on the Diner filmed in Spain, South Africa, Scotland and Southeast Asia.
Ben Baldwin has been playing music in the Seacoast since 1976, primarily with his band The Big Note. In the 80’s, he sang with The Moonbeams, an a capella quartet, Recently, he has been doing more teaching, sharing his love of music with students at Berwick Academy, and with his a capella friends, The Stairwells. Musical mentors include, but are not limited to, Ken McIntyre, Jon Barlow, Joe Galeota, Louie Jordan and Sam Cooke. Ben is a graduate of Wesleyan University with studies with master drummer & musician, Abraham Adzenyah from Ghana and master mbira player & scholar, Paul Berliner.
Marty Quinn is a guest performer with Beyond Borders with Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann and the Randy Armstrong Duo & Trio. Marty has performed, recorded and/or toured with Pat Martino (Warner Bros.), Darius Brubeck, Randy Armstrong and Do’a World Music Ensemble (Global Pacific/Columbia), Visant Rai (Vanguard), The Funky Divas of Gospel and Rock My Soul Gospel Choirs, various Broadway Show tours, and original music, drama, and dance productions The Magic Bird and The Seven Valleys with his wife, Dr. Wendy Quinn (quinnarts.com). He is the founder of Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab that specializes in transforming data into music and has collaborated with scientists at the Venice Marine Institute, the Climate Change Research Center and Space Plasma Group of the University of New Hampshire, and the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona.
Randy Armstrong uses music for healing and as therapuetic practice for a wide variety of learning disabilities and physical and emotional illnesses.