Ubaka Hill is a professional musician and workshop presenter. She presents drumming workshops on the art and spirit of playing the drum, and how to use the drum for sound healing, community building, and experiencing joy in our lives. She teaches people of all ages, skill levels, and physical abilities, including deaf and hard of hearing, and makes the art of drumming accessible to all.
Ubaka Hill plays her signature “Ube” drum, djembe drum, and various other percussion instruments of different cultures, including gongs, hand drums, rattles, didgeridoos, and singing bowls. Her music is inspired by her appreciation of Celtic, jazz, Latin, African, shamanic, folkloric, aboriginal, and contemporary music. On her CDs, Beyond the Wind, Dance the Spiral Dance, and ShapeShifters, and in her live performances, she creatively weaves percussion, poetry, and song to inspire a positive, energetic atmosphere for singing and dancing.
Ubaka Hill founded and directs ShapeShifters, a professional performance ensemble, and the Drumsong Orchestra, a national, multicultural ensemble of mostly female drummers and percussionists of all ages, experience, and skill levels. She is also founder and curator of The Drumsong Institute Museum and Archive of Women’s Drumming Traditions of North America, the first museum of women’s folkloric and contemporary hand drumming in the United States. She is one of the visionaries and coproducers of the annual Catskill Women’s World Drum & Percussion Happen’n, and editor and publisher of the newsletter Drumsong/Drumming Womyn’s News.
Hill received the Drummer of the Year Award in 2002 from The Voices of Africa Choral Ensemble, Inc., and in 2005 and 2006, the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, honored her with the proclamation of Ubaka Hill Day.