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Sansula On Stage with Jazz!

Sansula On Stage with Jazz!

Gwen Laster and her Jazz Ensemble captivate by adding Sansula to their musical interludes

World Renowned Jazz and experimental violinist Gwen Laster incorporates the Sansula into her live onstage performances. Originally trained as a classical violinist, Gwen is an adventurous composer, arranger and orchestrator with a deep appreciation for America's musical history, and a scholar of African- American musical heritage.

In this highlight video, Gwen plays free-form improvised musical interludes on the Sansula by Hokema together with her fellow instrumentalists to create a sense of space and expanded time between her more thorough-composed compositions. 


Sansulas and other intuitive instruments from WE PLAY WELL TOGETHER can be incorporated into the repertoire of professional musicians in a variety of contexts. Kalimbas are based on the Mbira from Zimbabwe and are one of the world's oldest instruments. Variations of them can be found throughout the continent of Africa. With a kalimba mounted on a drum head to amplify the sound and create acoustic sound effects, Sansulas are so easy and fun to play. They introduce extra creativity to any musical act without having to study a whole new instrument as they can be picked up by anyone and intuitively played. We hope you enjoy highlights from Gwen's recent performance along with her thrilling violin playing.

In this video Gwen Laster appeared on stage at the KuBe Arts Center in her hometown of Beacon - located in the Hudson Valley New York State (located about 90 minutes north of New York City) as part of the Beacon Bonfire Arts Festival in November 2023. Gwen performed alongside her husband Damon Banks on Bass, Mani Kosh on keys, and Harvy Wirht on drums - making up the band TRAVELGUIDES.

Gwen Laster's  music and playing is poignant, descriptive and always relevant. Perhaps that's why she has recorded and performed with the world's most influential artists. The list reads like a “who's who” of modern masters: Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Alicia Keys, Rhianna, Shaggy, Aretha Franklin, Solange, Mark Anthony, J Lo, Shakira, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Anthony Braxton, Nona Hendryx, Wadada Leo Smith, William Parker, Danny Elfman, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tyler, the Creator, Emeline Michel and Andrew Baba Lamb.

Learn more about Gwen Laster and follow her on Instagram: @lastergwen


Gwen is playing the Sansula Deluxe in its default A-minor tuning. The 9-note Sansula comes in 3 varieties: Basic (with a paper drum head) Renaissance (with a synthetic drum head created by Remo) and Deluxe (a goat-skin head which makes every instrument unique in appearance.) We offer them in 4 tunings to match our Elemental Soundscapes Sets: A-minor (Air), D-minor (Water), G-Major (Fire) C-Major (Earth) and F-Major (matches our F-monochords.) There is also a 11-note Sansula Renaissance Melody which offers a G-Major diatonic scale. All our Sansulas can be custom-tuned to other unique scales however using the Hokema Kalimba Tuning Tool

Shop the different Sansulas and Accessories: Bags, Book and Tuning Tool.

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