Ayanna Gallant is a musician, poet, and educator with a passion for creativity. She has been a music and poetry artistic leader for non-profit groups such as Arts in Reach, Jazzmouth: The Portsmouth Poetry and Jazz Festival, With Open Minds and The Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project. Ayanna shares her love for the arts as a music teacher at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington D.C. She earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of New Hampshire in Music Education (2005) and a Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Arts Integration (2010). She credits her students, colleagues and performing arts family for teaching her about the things that matter most, creating and learning. Publications include The 2008 Poets’ Guide to New Hampshire (Poetry Society of New Hampshire, 2008), How to Say Hello (Sargent Press, 2008), Screams, Moans and Lullabies (Sargent Press 2012) and “Lunation”, an anthology of woman poets. She is formerly a trombonist with the Portsmouth Symphony (2009-2012) and has shared the stage with Branford Marsalis, Clark Terry, and former US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Ayanna currently performs with Aya, Marsha and the Positrons, Pangea. You see her perform most often with The Bele Bele Rhythm Collective, an inter-generational, diverse group of women who study and perform tightly sewn compositions of West African polyrhythms complete with songs, breaks, and accompanying dancers.