“Out of Africa,” a concert highlighting African instrumental and vocal music along with traditional Ghanaian dance, is the next event slated for West Shore Community College’s 2017-18 Performing Arts Series. In collaboration with WSCC’s Academic Projects Team, the concert will take place on March 16, 7:30 p.m., in the Center Stage Theater.
“The idea for this event was entertained over a year ago. As our college has been focused on Sub-Sahara Africa as an academic focus, our goal was to interweave cultural arts throughout this project including African artifacts and visual art.
This concert will be the performing arts portion of the project,” says Ted Malt, professor of music studies and director of performing arts.
The concert will highlight many world-renown artists including Dane Richeson, professor of music at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI. Richeson will be directing Kinkaviwo, the Lawrence Conservatory Ghanaian Drum Ensemble.
Richeson has been the director of percussion studies since 1984, and under his direction the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble has released two critically acclaimed CDs, and been awarded honors by the Wisconsin Music Educators Association and the Percussive Arts Society.
In 2015, he was given the Excellence in Teaching Award from Lawrence University. Richeson is recognized as one of the most versatile virtuosi in percussion. Throughout the world, he has been featured in such diverse roles as solo marimbist, percussionist in contemporary music settings, world percussion specialist and jazz drummer.
The concert will also feature African kora and oud player, Kane Mathis. Mathis began taking trips to Gambia, West Africa, in 1997, and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka kora. Over the past ten years, his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, minister of culture and both national television and radio. Mathis will be performing with these unique instruments in a traditional style.
In addition, the Kinkaviwo Drum Ensemble will feature Nani Agbeli, professor and director of Ghanaian West African music, dance and arts at the Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts.
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, Agbeli 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.
In the United States, Agbeli has taught Ghanaian drumming and dancing and led performing ensembles notably at Tufts University and Harvard University among others. In addition, he has taught at Berklee College of Music, the Edna Manley School in Jamaica, Bowling Green University, and the University of Virginia, and has held artistic residencies at many other colleges.
Along with the concert is a multifaceted three-day residency which will include workshops on the college’s campus and in area schools.
For more information on all Performing Arts Series events and to purchase general admission tickets, go to the college’s website.
Tickets are also available by calling 231-843-5507, or visiting the box office located in Schoenherr Campus Center bookstore. Visa, Master Card, Discover credit cards are accepted.