What is your name and what does it mean?
My name is Pierre Gasimbo (Gasimbo is symbolic of overcome or leaping and equally to a high energy vide Burundi dance called Agasimbo).
What forms of the performing arts do you practice, and please provide details and types of: dance, type of dance, performance, music, singing, theater, etc?
We are blessed few to be one of the greatest percussion ensembles in the world, the Komezakaranga Drummers And Dancers are a spectacle of music and dance. Full of energy, grace and pure athleticism, they hammer out compelling rhythms and complex syncopations while leaping, dancing and singing over their waist-high drums. Bringing the exciting rhythm!! dance, music and culture of the East Africa nation of Burundi and the spectacular performances of the "Komezakaranga Drummers And Dancers". Explanations are great, but it's our hope you can experience our performance live which will help you understand this extraneously art.
How long have you been doing your art?
This is by far my favorite question to answer because the are not lot people who are blessed to have done this as long I've mainly of my path and roads to it. I have been doing this for about 20 years or since I was 9 years old.
Do you represent a performing arts school or organization?
Our performing in symbolic of our Nation freedom for our beloved country, our people and future generations of Burundi. I am director of this program because I was trained my Master Drummer Antoine Marie "Tony" Nsekambabaye, him and I path met because of the unfortunately of 1993 Burundi Civil war and he became my blessings. During war I ended up in Refugee Camp where I was blessed enough to be among the Drumming group there which is not easy to be among(Long story), but five years later me, siblings, and Parents were granted refugee status to settle in cold December of 1998 to Music City USA, Nashville, Tenn. Before we left the refugee camp, many were saying that we will never see another Burundi or someone who speak our language. Next 7days in Nashville real became true of the old saying "Something it's easy to believe what your ears or eyes can see" next day we were greeted by individuals not white, not Spanish, but a Burundians who speaks our mother language of Kirundi and from there is were I was introduced to "Tony" and life of drumming in America continued thru his leadership and sacrifices. We toured America Cities playing drums and many of us were blessed to stay education focused mainly of what drums life gave us. Yes we do what we do to preserving our rich Heritage, but we do what we do because we're the fishermen for our youth and our Burundi generations. Having something meaningful to do in Refugee Camp, after school in America where possible for me because of the Burundi Drummering and I have accepted same responsible to carry on the "Ingoma" legacy to keep practice going and everything individual joining us is a great win because street of America can steal youths mind swiftly. We do what we do for us, for our Community and our future generations using Burundi (Ingoma) Drums.
How does it make you feel when you perform?
To be honest, performing a Burundi "Ingoma" Drums is high honor for me and my mates. With that in mind, all our every day performance gives me a great gratitude because the rolling thunderstorms sounds makes me feels alive and the energy it gives me is real hard to explain, it's pure joy.
Please name and describe any specific instruments, accessories or props you use when performing?
Komezakaranga Drummers use drums made from hollowed tree trunks covered with female Cow that gave birth before skins. In addition to the central drum, called Inkiranya, there are Amashako drums which provide a continuous beat, and Ibishikiso drums, which follow the rhythm established by the Inkiranya.
What do you feel you've may have gained artistically from your family's cultural / performance background?
Oh Lord, O have gained so much as Burundian Drummer, to me .
The drum became my everything. My education. Everything. Drums don’t carry an ethnic group. We are united by the drums.
Do you have a fanpage or website?
Yes, our community page is at https://www.facebook.com/Komezakaranga and also we can be reach by phone (702) 900-8893 or email at Komezakaranga@gmail.com