East West Ghana All Stars

Pioneer Park
423 Nimrod Street, Nevada City, California

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 6:00PM

TICKETS $20
Tickets

East West Ghana All StarsThe rhythms and movements of traditional West-African drumming and dance will light up on Saturday, August 25 when the East-West Ghana All-Stars return to shake Pioneer Park in Nevada City, California.

The East-West Ghana All-Stars are a traditional, high-energy drum and dance troupe founded by the top Ghanaian musicians now living in the United States. From all corners of America, they come together a couple of times a year with their top US students to put on an artistically unmatched demonstration of their craft for lucky US audiences.

You’ll be treated to an authentic and exciting evening of traditional Ghanaian music and dance unlike anything seen outside of West Africa itself. Aside from moving to the rhythm in your seat during the show, it is an All-Stars tradition to invite audiences to stand up and participate at the end.


About the East-West Ghana All-Stars

Traditional West-African drumming and dance will shake Pioneer Park in Nevada City on Saturday, August 25 when the East-West Ghana All-Stars return to rock the foothills.

The East-West Ghana All-Stars are a traditional, high-energy drum and dance troupe founded by the top Ghanaian musicians now living in the United States.  From all corners of America, they come together a couple of times a year with their top US students to put on an artistically unmatched demonstration of their craft for lucky US audiences.

You’ll be treated to an evening of traditional Ghanaian music and dance unlike anything seen outside of West Africa itself.    Aside from swaying to the rhythm during the show, it is an All-Stars tradition to invite audiences to stand up and participate at the end.


Nani AgbeliThe East-West Ghana All-Stars are led by Artistic Director, Nani Agbeli, one of the top Ghanaian dancers of his generation, who runs the African Music program at CalArts in Los Angeles.  He thrills audiences with his athleticism, charisma, and precision.

Nani Agbeli, known for his energy, athleticism, and precision on stage, is one of the leading Ghanaian dancers of his generation. Born into a family of prominent dancers and drummers in Ghana’s Volta region, Nani was trained by his father, the late Godwin K. Agbeli, who performed with the Arts Council of Ghana Folkloric Company and later served as chairman of the Ghanaian National Association of Cultural Groups. Nani went on to study with various artists at the National Arts Center in Accra and, for many years, led the award-winning cultural troupe Sankofa Roots II. For nine years, he served as the lead drum and dance instructor at the Dagbe Cultural Center, a school that trains domestic and international students in Ghanaian traditional arts.


Emmanuel Attah PokuAttah Poku is a prominent master drummer from the Ashanti Region of Ghana, West Africa. Born and raised inside the walls of the Ashanti King's palace, Attah began training with his grandfather when he was only five years old, and officially joined the Ashanti King's drum ensemble when he was ten. Performing as lead drummer for the Kumasi Centre for National Culture, the Ashanti King's Fontomfrom ensemble, and the renowned Nsuase Kete group, Attah has toured Africa extensively, playing in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Togo, and Benin. Attah is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he directs the Kiniwe African Music and Dance Ensemble at Tufts University and is the Artistic Director of the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society, founded by Professor David Locke (Music Department, Tufts University.) Attah Poku has performed for internationally renowned figures such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prince Charles of Wales, movie star Steven Seagal, heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, and presidents of many African nations including Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia.


Kawa ManuKwaku Manu is a highly skilled dancer and drummer who honed his craft at the University of Ghana before arriving in 2010 to assist the legendary C.K. Ladzekpo, teaching Ghanaian drumming and dance to students at U.C. Berkeley, Cal State, and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts.

Francis Kofi AkotuahFrancis Kofi Akotuah taught traditional music and dance at the University of Ghana for two decades, mentoring many up-and-coming performers as well as introducing countless students from around the world to Ghanaian music. Born and raised in the melting pot neighborhood of New Town, Accra, Francis grew up surrounded by the sights and sounds of all of Ghana’s many ethnic groups. As a drumming instructor at the University of Ghana for almost two decades, he has mentored many of Ghana’s up-and-coming performers and introduced countless students from around the world to Ghanaian traditions. He regularly performs with many of Ghana’s leading traditional and neo-traditional ensembles and Afropop bands in the North America, and he has performed, taught master classes, and conducted workshops at universities throughout the US and Canada, including McGill, Tufts, Wesleyan, SUNY Stony Brook, Mount Holyoke, Brandeis, UC Irvine, and CalArts. A newcomer to the Bay Area, he is also teaching at the University of San Francisco and Mills College.


Their American students are lifelong devotees of Ghanaian music and dance, and have all traveled to Ghana extensively to study and perform. They are all excellent drummers, dancers, and in most cases, teachers in their own rights. 

JoeJoe Galeota teaches  African Drumming and Dance at Berkelee College of Music in Boston. When he’s not making custom drums for artists like Vinx and Mickey Hart, Professor of Percussion Joe Galeota teaches classes that introduce students to the culture and advanced ensemble playing of African music.

 


Faith ConantFaith Conant, teaches African Drumming and Dance at SUNY Stonybrook in NY and Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Faith did her ethnomusicology research in Togo, West Africa, where she studied as a Fulbright scholar with master drummer Gadji Folly and performed with the Adjogbo Habobo of the Adjigo of Lomé. She performed and taught Ewe music and dance in the Boston-based Agbekor Society led by David Locke for over twenty years.


Philip Ago AgyapongPhilip Ago Agyapong, who teaches West African Dance at USF and Mills College. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Theater Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance, specializing in African Dance Traditions and Contemporary African Dance from the University of Ghana.  

www.facebook.com/eastwestghana

With Omo Aché opening

Omo AcheThe group, Omo Aché, will open the show with the Batá drums. Omo Aché is a local group of musicians who are studying Afro-Cuban music. The group is led by lead drummer Gary Greenberg.

Omo Aché will be performing a selection of rhythms from the Oru del Igbodu (or Oru Seco), a complex set of salute or praise-rhythms played on the Batá drums in honor of the Orishas. The rhythms are sonic representations of the Orishas, the gods and goddesses associated with the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria.

Although Santeria is a 'New World Religion' that is practiced throughout the Americas and the world, its roots, the drumming and the Orishas are originally from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria.

Playing the Batá are Omo Aché members Gary Greenberg, Rob Holland and Ian Davidson.


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