A Concert Of African Drumming, Dance & Song With The Umass Dartmouth Kekeli African Drum And Dance Ensemble On December 11

A concert of African dance, drumming and song directed by world renowned artist Kwabena Boateng will be presented by the UMass Dartmouth Kekeli African Drum and Dance Ensemble on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm. in the Main Auditorium

A concert of African dance, drumming and song directed by world renowned artist Kwabena Boateng will be presented by the UMass Dartmouth Kekeli African Drum and Dance Ensemble on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm. in the Main Auditorium at the UMass Dartmouth Campus Center, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA. 

The Kekeli African Drum and Dance Ensemble performs the traditional music and dance of West Africa, including processional, warrior, court, social, harvest, and recreational styles. Guest artists will include Master Drummer Saeed Abbas of Ghana, Abbie Chambers, Lauren Falabella, Wes Brown, and Scott Kessel. The event is sponsored by the UMass Dartmouth Music Department and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. 

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for seniors. Parking is available in lots 4 and 5. Proceeds from tickets sales will be used for the Kekeli club ensemble's trip to Ghana, West Africa in the summer. CD sales will be donated to the Save Darfur fund to help the victims of genocide in the Sudan. 

Anyone interested in additional information about this special concert event or to join Kekeli on its trip to Ghana in Summer 2011 may contact professor royal hartigan by telephone at (508) 999-8572. 

For more information contact the UMass Dartmouth Music Department at 508.999-8568. 

About the performers 

Kwabena Boateng is a dancer, dramatist, and musician who has toured the world extensively, recorded, given master classes, and appeared in films about African Culture. He was a founding member of the African jazz-highlife ensemble Talking Drums. An authority on African dance, language, culture, and drama, Kwabena continues to perform, direct, consult, and lead dance groups throughout the United States both individually and with Talking Drums. 

Saeed Abbas is a master drummer and flutist. He hails from Accra, the capitol city of Ghana, and has performed traditional African music, Jazz, Latin, and Reggae styles throughout the Africa and the world with his own ensemble, the Gye Nyame Ensemble, the Brekete Ensemble, and the Ghana Dance Ensemble. 

Scott Kessel is a visual artist and drum set performer who tours throughout the United States with numerous groups in a number of styles including jazz, funk, pop, and highlife music. 

Wes Brown is a bassist, flutist, pianist, drummer, and dancer who has toured the world with many groups, including the legendary pianist Earl 'Fatha' Hines, Talking Drums, Fred Ho's Afro-Asian Music Ensemble, the blood drum spirit ensemble, and the Black Rebels reggae ensemble. 

Abbie Chambers and Lauren Falabella are accomplished musicians and dancers who have traveled to Ghana and studied with master artists in Kopeyia, Midie, and Mampong villages. 

royal hartigan is a Professor of Music at UMass Dartmouth.  He is a student of the late Freeman Kwadzo Donkor, Adzenyah, Helen Mensah, and Boateng and has performed with Talking Drums, Fred Ho's Afro-Asian Music Ensemble, Hafez Modirzadeh's Paradox, and his own group.  royal lives in Ghana each summer to learn drumming and dance styles, to share as part of the UMass Dartmouth Music Department's African Drum and Dance Ensemble. 


About African music 

We will be performing the traditional instrumental music, dance, and song of the coastal rainforest cultures of West Africa, including peoples from the present day countries of Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria. The dance drama, which includes the three dimensions of instrumental music, dance, and song, is an expression of events in the life, agricultural and seasonal cycles. It connects people as members of a community and strategizes for success in the individual and collective struggle for survival - the transcendence of physical, economic, and political limitations. Drumming, dance, and song are highly sophisticated, complex, and powerful means in oral tradition by which people remember genealogies, recall group history, and maintain personal connections with each other, ancestors, a spiritual realm, and the creator. 

The historic global movement of African peoples since the 1500s has brought this African sense of community, transcendence, and spirit to many parts of the globe, resulting in new forms of expression shared by people of all cultural backgrounds. These include Blues, Shouts, Clapping Plays such as Pattin' Juba, Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Reggae, Rumba, Samba, Candomble, Lucumi, Vodun, and numerous other styles, including much of the world's popular music since the dawn of the 20th century. The music and dance of Africa is an ancient and contemporary expression that is a humanizing force in our paths through life. 


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