CARLOS PRIDE is a Musician, Record Producer, Composer, DJ, Instrument Maker and founder of Rhythm Testament Productions Inc.
My journey began at age five when my mother gave me a guitar and a set of drums. I would spend most of my youth exploring them as well as the bongos, congas and a series of African thumb pianos. In my early teens I studied drums with Fred White of Earth Wind and Fire and Famoudou Don Moye of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago.
When I was fifteen years old Bassist J.W. Williams gave me my first blues gig as the drummer with his band The Chi-Town Hustlers. My mother would drive me to the gigs and come back to pick me up, wait for me to pack my drums and take me home. This is why I am her caregiver to this day. Over the next several years I would play with the late Valerie Wellington, Carlos Johnson, the late Lefty Dizz and Buddy Guy.
While attending the American Conservatory of Music I met Midawo Gideon Foli Alorwoyie, a master drummer from Accra Ghana. Gideon introduced me to the Talking Drum and I joined his group The African American Unity Ensemble. While performing with the ensemble I met Abubakari Lunna, a master drummer from Dagbon Ghana and a direct descendant of the creators of the Luna or Ghana Talking Drum. Gideon and Abu exposed me to a new world of rhythmic and melodic possibilities and inspired me to form my own ensemble Rhythm Testament, to explore the rhythms of my ancestors and incorporate them with modern instrumentation.
Over the years I created workshops and taught at various institutions such as the A.A.C.M. (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), School of Music in Chicago IL, The Guggenheim Rhythm Society, The Dondon Workshop (Talking Drum Workshop), Four drum programs for the New York City Public Schools. Two elementary schools, P.S. 1 in the South Bronx and P.S. 27 in Red Hook Brooklyn, two high schools, Coalition School for Social Change in Mid- Town Manhattan and Taft High School in the South Bronx.
I moved to New York City to open my mid-town recording studio 440. 440 was a breeding ground of creativity where innovative Hip Hop and Dance records were made.
By 2012 Rhythm Testament began growing as a brand. A clothing line was developed, a drum stick company was created, handmade instruments were made and sold worldwide and Rhythm Testament Records was founded. This growth continues today in 2022. I am so thankful for the journey so far and look forward to the future.
Over the years I have performed professionally in a wide variety of musical situations with various artists including: Talking Drum Master Rasaki Aladokun (King Sunny Ade), Ethiopian Vocalist Ejigayehu Gigi Shibabaw, The late Pianist & Vocalist Ann Ward, Guitarist Jean Paul Bourelly, Saxophonist Ari Brown, Organist Reuben Wilson, The late Norman Hedman, The late Screaming Jay Hawkins, N’ Dea Davenport of the Brand New Heavies, Nona Hendricks, Will Downing, Gerald Albright, George Clinton, Me’ Shell Ndege’ocello, The Indigo Girls, Sinead O’Connor, Natalie Merchant, Talib Kweli, Amel Larrieux and Frankie Knuckles.
Carlos Pride Bio
Email : RhythmTestament.Carlos@gmail.com
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