About Us

 “GRACE is what brings you from one place to a better place.

Dr. Rev. Iyanla Vanzant

Gabriella Dennery, Gena Jefferson, Arlene Hale, JoAnna Powell, and Corey Myers are the dignified, spirited women of GRACE DRUMS, a life-affirming percussion & vocal performance group with the simple mission of making joy contagious.

 Why joy? Because we believe that joy is essential to living, only second to the air we breath. The gift of joy is often forgotten.  Our mission is to remind you of your joy: a fundamental right to feel good about yourself.  Why Grace? Not a person, but a state of mind, Grace Drums because drumming is a universal language cutting across gender, race, disability, religion, age, class, sexual orientation, and any other perceived line that divides.

Using time-honored West African percussion instruments, music and vocals from African & Caribbean cultures as its foundation, GRACE DRUMS bridges the traditional to the contemporary, adding influences in R&B & vocal improvisation. The result is vibrant original music of drum and song with universal cross-cultural appeal. Founded in 2010, GRACE DRUMS brings its unique style of percussive joy to audiences throughout NYC. Past performances include:

  • Brooklyn Arts Council’s (BAC) Girls Hit The Street and Harborlore Festivals
  • Bronx Rising! At the Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab
  • The Schomburg Library for Research in Black Culture
  • City Tech Women’s Center
  • 2013 BAC’s grant award ceremony at Borough Hall
  • Spoke the Hub’s 20th anniversary Local Produce Festival
  • A sold out  first Annual Concert GRACE DRUMS Presents “The Women Gather”, at the Actors Fund Arts Center (Spring 2013).
  • Queen’s Public Library 28th annual World Music Series
  • Brooklyn YWCA Annual Gala
  • Harlem Arts Festival (June 2014)

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!