About Us

 “GRACE is what brings you from one place to a better place, and you don’t have to know how.”     Dr. Rev. Iyanla Vanzant

Gabriella Dennery, Gena Jefferson, Arlene Hale, JoAnna Powell, and Corey Myers-Jones are the spirited drummers, singers, and dancers of GRACE DRUMS, an all women performance group embodying empowerment with joy, boldness, and creativity.

Why joy? Because we believe JOY is essential to living, only second to the air we breath.  Our mission is to remind you of your joy: your fundamental right to feel good about yourself, and excited about your life. Why Grace? Not a person, but a state of mind: Grace is always drumming because drumming unapologetically cuts across gender, race, disability, religion, age, class, sexual orientation, and any other perceived line that divides.

We create empowering music using time-honored African instruments, combined with our modern inspirations. Think of Grace Drums as a generous dose of Sweet Honey in the Rock, with a sprinkle of Bobby MacFerrrin, add to that the power of djembe and djundjun drumming, the result is a uniquely, fun and engaging stage experience where women are celebrated for boldly stepping into their life.

Grace Drums is busy year round, performing at amazing venues around the NYC area. Our intention is to bring our drumming joy to every corner of this world!

Past performances include:

  • GRACE DRUMS presents The Women Gather Project  1rst Annual Concert, Actors’ Fund Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • GRACE DRUMS presents The Women Gather Project 2nd Annual Concert, LIU Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn, NY
  • Brooklyn Arts Council’s (BAC) Girls Hit The Street and Harborlore Festivals
  • Bronx Rising! At the Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab
  • Black Womens’ Blueprint, The Schomburg Library for Research in Black Culture, Harlem
  • City Tech Women’s Center, Brooklyn
  • Spoke the Hub’s Local Produce Festival, Brooklyn
  • Union Theological Seminary, NYC
  • Queen’s Public Library (Jamaica, Flushings, Corona)
  • Brooklyn YWCA Annual Gala, Roulette Theater, Brooklyn, NY
  • Harlem Arts Festival
  • East NY Art Walk
  • Gustavus Augustus Lutheran Church, NYC
  • Berean Community and Family Life Center, Brooklyn
  • Secunda Quidamba Folkloric Center, Jersey City, NJ
  • Haiti Solidarity Network, Tea Neck, NJ
  • United Methodist Women, Interchurch Center, NYC

And counting!

OUR MUSICIANS

Gabriella Dennery – FOUNDER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A Brooklyn based percussionist, arranger, composer, Gabriella Dennery left medical practice to pursue her love of music as a teacher and performer. Born in Canada of Haitian parents, she grew up with the infectious grooves of Haiti, African big band music, 70’s disco, pop and rock.  Ironically, her first instrument was the classical violin, and in hindsight, …Read more!

Arlene Hale – VOCALIST, PERCUSSIONIST

Bronx born & raised Arlene Hale attended The Fiorello La Guardia High School of Music and Art, where she first studied voice. Arlene has been a member several distinguished New York City choirs, which include The Riverside Church Inspirational Choir and The New York City Sacred Center Choir. Community Theater in and around New York…Read more!

Gena Jefferson – PERCUSSIONIST, VOCALIST, DANCER, CHOREOGRAPHER

Music and performance is second nature to Brooklyn born Gena Jefferson.  Born into a family of musicians from Panama, Gena  grew up  with the sounds of live Latin Jazz, West Indian dance music, and Panamanian folklore.  While a teen, and with the encouragement of a beloved High School teacher who saw much potential in her…Read more!

JoAnna Powell –  DANCER, PERCUSSIONIST, VOCALIST, CHOREOGRAPHER

Harlem-born of Trinidadian heritage, JoAnna Powell has been a professional dance artist, choreographer and teacher for over 30 years. Her eclectic style draws from modern, contemporary, jazz, improvisation and multicultural forms, and she has extensive experience in all aspects of theater crafts. JoAnna’s passion for dance began in Montreal, Canada while a fine arts student…Read more!

Corey Myers-Jones – PERCUSSIONIST, VOCALIST

Corey Myers-Jones Philly born, Brooklyn resident.  A love for music, quest for life and spiritual growth provide the path    for this journey.  Music shaped her life very early playing keyboard and singing in choruses from childhood.  She continued to gravitate towards musicians with a thirst to explore many instruments but none more than guitar and drums. Corey has performed…Read more!