JFFA Festival 2020 : Kids Show Performer Lineup
Each year JFFA launches the Juan de Fuca Festival with three morning school performances that serve over 3000 local students and educators.
With support from the Port Angeles Education Foundation, the Port Angeles School District, many volunteers and specific artist grants, we proudly bring world class performances to all K-12 students in the Port Angeles School District.
In 2020 we are proud to present KUTAPIRA and HENRIK BOTHE.
Back this year by popular demand!
Kutapira is a percussion ensemble that formed in 2005 in East Vancouver. The band is made up of five core members, young men ages 25 to 30, who started playing this fusion of world music together when they were kids over 15 years ago. One of Kutapira’s remarkable features is the way that these 5 original members switch seamlessly from instrument to instrument. Zimbabwean Marimba, Afro-Cuban & West African rhythms, Reggae, Samba, Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz, Cumbia, Disco and Hip Hop all contribute to a fusion of styles intelligently selected, seamlessly blended and brought to you by Kutapira.
What started out thirteen years ago as a youth world music initiative has metamorphosed into the crowd pleasing percussion explosion known today as Kutapira. The name Kutapira means “sweetness” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, a fitting title for a band that plays a fusion of Zimbabwean marimba with West African and Afro-Cuban percussion. For years they performed exclusively as a mallet swinging, skin-slapping quintet but now, in their latest evolutionary form, feature guitar, vocals and electric bass.
It’s lively and visceral… you can actually feel the vibration and the rhythms in your chest… it ignites something tribal within you that can be trance inducing or just makes you want to dance. The transferal of energy between the audience and the performer is palpable and it often grows into something that is more than the sum of its respective parts. This is the magic and the joy that Kutapira shares with audiences and it’s the reason why the band has lasted for so long.
Henrik Bothe (pronounced “Bota”), a native of Denmark, Henrik began entertaining at the early age of three when he drove the family VW bug into the sea. With fortune on his side, he made a quick escape and was soon mesmerized by plate-spinning acts on The Ed Sullivan Show. This lead to breaking Mom’s plates and throwing Dad’s knives in the wood-shop, until he ultimately attended Aahus Theater Academy to focus on the performing arts. Henrik got his professional start in Europe when he teamed up with David Gomez in the 80s to form the comedy duo “Twist and Shout.” They relocated later in the decade to San Francisco to join the thriving “New Vaudeville” scene. There Henrik was introduced to the world of Improvisational Theatre by Keith Johnstone, an influence that follows him to this day.
In the early 90s Henrik moved to Seattle and headlined as an entertainer for all major cruise lines. During that time Henrik engineered “NeonMan”, a glow-in-the-dark optical illusion that has taken him all over the world for TV appearances and is now a major component in his show. That was also when Henrik “recreated” his plate spinning routine. One of the biggest motivations for Henrik to become a performer/juggler was watching the Ed Sullivan Show on television growing up.
Gene Siler who produces “A Really Big Shew” which is a tribute show to Ed Sullivan says: “Henrik’s plate spinning act is as good as people remember the original plate spinning act. When an act can compete with people’s memory of one of the funniest acts they ever saw you know you have a winner.” Performance highlights include appearing on Garrison Keillor‘s “A Prairie Home Companion” where Garrison exclaimed “Henrik is one of the few jugglers that have ever succeeded in performing on the radio.” Henrik has also made appearances with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace and on Europe’s most widely viewed variety show “Le Plus Grande Cabaret du Monde” in Paris. Today Henrik performs physical comedy as a professional entertainer for corporate, local and national events. When Henrik isn’t performing solo he either tours theaters in the US with Woody Keppel in “Foolz,” a duo show for all ages, or performs with Steve G as “The Bellini Twins,” an act with a “late night” feel. Seattle Times wrote:” Bellini Twins takes inspired idiocy to new heights”. Henrik currently resides in Portland, OR with his wife and family where he performs locally, leads team-building workshops and teaches a circus arts program in metro-area schools.