World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival



GENRE: Traditional
Akotuah, Francis - Drummer
Anku, Kwesi - Drummer
Berman, Doug - Drummer
Hammond-Castro, Alison - Singer
Katamani, Kokou Soglo - Drummer
Ladzekpo, Betty - Co-Director/Singer
Ladzekpo, C.K - Director/Drummer
Lifshitz, Michelle - Singer
Manu, Kwaku - Drummer
Simmons, Jordan - Drummer
Wold, Duncan - Drummer
Zahorsky, Mary-Ann

The founding and development of The African Music and Dance Ensemble is closely associated with the development of the Pan-African consciousness of African-Americans in the United States. The Ensemble in fact emerged from a tradition of African music and dance activities set by CK Ladzekpo from Ghana, West Africa through his scholarly research, teaching and performances.

Since its inception in 1973, the Ensemble, based in Oakland, California, has sought to broaden access to the knowledge about Africa's rich cultural heritage across the United States, Canada and Europe. At university and high school campuses in California to Great Britain's Black Dance Development Trust's special summer schools for Black Dance Professionals in Europe, the Ensemble has taught the skill, artistry and philosophy that inform the African music and dance traditions. In community ethnic festivals in California, to sold-out season at the world-class Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, the Ensemble has pioneered the emergence of works by African choreographers on the modern concert stages of the United States with colorful and vibrant tapestries of authentic traditional dances and percussion ensemble music from the West African countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin.

The group will be presenting Kpanlogo, an urban youth dance-drumming and a symbol of the commitment of a rapidly growing Ghanaian urban youth in advocating their perspective in shaping the political vision of post colonial Africa.