W. Ché Cartafalsa: Ché is a professional musician, instrument maker, and educator whose work brings him from recording studios to night clubs, and from concert halls to West African street weddings. Performing on an array of percussion instruments from many cultures, he makes presentations to students from pre-school to the college level as well as out into the community.
Careers in nuclear technology, environmental monitoring, and organic farming came and went, but music remained the constant in Ché’s life. Playing in the high school orchestra led to gigs for Handel’s Messiah, ands performing in garage rock bands led to opening for Jimi Hendrix and jamming with the Grateful Dead at Woodstock.
A half-dollar cutout record led to years of playing for Middle Eastern dancers while another led to eventual performance with Babatunde Olatunji’s “Drums of Passion,” and to Baba’s direction that Ché share his gift by teaching. Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music combined with an inclination towards history, anthropology and ethnomusicology, led him to West Africa, the source of a great deal of America’s musical culture. He is a founding member of Crocodile River Music, and plays percussion, cajon and steel drums in their presentation ‘Trinidad 2 Timbuktu.” He also performs with Crocodile Island, a group specializing in Calypso and Island styles that is also part of the Crocodile River Music family.
From his New London, Connecticut, base, Ché is presently gigging with jazz, calypso, West African, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, and Irish ensembles. In addition, he is working with the following:
- Arts for Learning Connecticut
- Clark University Theatre Department
- Connecticut College Dance Department
- Crocodile River Music & Media