Sunday, August 22, 2010

West African Music & Dance: College of Music Abelardo Hall: Free Event



Last August 20, 2010, the UP Kekeli Ensemble presented a West African Music & Dance in Abelardo Hall. The event was provided for free and comprised of two parts. The first one is a workshop starting at 4pm and the second one is a concert starting at 7 pm.

When I arrived at the Abelardo hall about a quarter to 6 pm, the hall was already filled with students who just came from the workshop. The concert started at 7:30 pm and the UP Kekeli Ensemble together with Royal Hartigan made an entrance starting from the back of the hall performing Asaadua, a processional music of the Asante people of Ghana. The opening number was truly enchanting.



According to the Programme provided for this event:

The UP Kekeli African Drum and Dance Ensemble performs the traditional music, dance and songs of West Africa including the traditions of the Asante, Ewe, Dagbamba, Dagara and Ga peoples. Members of the group visited Ghana to studey and perform Asante Kete an were invited to perform to the Asantehe's (paramount chief of the Asante people) palace near Kumasi last June 2010. The group usually only performs when led by a master drummer from the culture but have been given permission to share this great tradition in their performance last August 20, 2010. The group is also believed to be the first Ghanaian ensemble of its kind in Asia.



Members of the Kekeli African Drumming and Dancing Ensemble are Tusa Mantes, Jenny de Vera, Toni Bernardo, Jinggoy Balane, Rodel Celestial, Patricia Rodriguez, Catherine Cheng, Catherine Grace de Leon, Frederick Ruiz, Gideon Amaca, Roan Opiso, Isobelle Primero, Valerie Vibar, Ralph Jalbuena, Alyssa Dioquino, and Thristan Mendoza.

For this concert, the UP Kekeli Ensemble performed with Royal Hartigan who is a professor at UMass Dartmouth. He is the student of the late freeman Kwadzo Donkar, Kobena Adzenyah, Helen Mensah, and Kwabena 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 every summer to learn drumming and dance styles, to share as part of the UMass Dartmouth Music Department's African Drum and Dance Ensemble.

For this concert, the programme consisted of:
1. Asaadua - a professional music of the Asante people of Ghana, referring to the many diverse branches of the human tree.
2. Gahu - a recreational dance of the Ewe people of Ghana. Lead drum rhythms call dance movements
3. Anlo Kete - a social music of the Ewe people
4. Bawa - a harvest dance drumming of the Dagara people of northern Ghana. Drum rhythms reflect the dance.
5. Misagodzi-Sovu-Adavu - these pieces commemorate the Ewe escape from Notsie in present day Togo
6. Sikyi - a social music of the Asante focusing in courtship
7. Agbeko - a warrior dance drumming of the Ewe people, dance movements depict ancient strategies, heroism and codes of honor
8. Kpanlogo - a recreational music of the Ga people of Ghana.

There are other upcoming similar events:

August 25, 2010 - Wednesday
A Concert of Music in the African American Jazz Tradition featuring Diwa Ensemble and John Coltrane's A Love Supreme Suite

4pm: Workshop
7pm: Concert

August 27, 2010 - Friday - 7pm
A concert of Music in the Maguindanaoan Kulintang and African American Jazz traditions

For a sample clip of the concert you can check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N2BPXG_bSY

http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=34TI1fy6KUY


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bv87EMw--s

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