The West Virginia University World Music Center’s African Ensemble will present a concert of African and African diaspora music and dance Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Creative Arts Center.
The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre.
Under the direction of Gordon Nunn, the African Ensemble will give the audience a taste of the musical styles of contemporary Africa , including a range of traditional, popular and artistic music and dance.
The concert will feature the music and dance from the Western African countries of Ghana , Nigeria , Mali and Guinea and East African amadinda xylophone music from Uganda . Portions of the concert also will focus on the African Diaspora cultures of Cuba and Brazil , as musicians from the ensemble perform Afro-Cuban Bata drumming.
Special guests will be students from the Brazilian Student Association and students from the WVU Division of Music who will perform samba drumming and dance from Brazil .
The WVU African Ensemble is an exciting and talented group dedicated to performing the music and dance of various cultures from West Africa . The ensemble, founded in 1995 by Paschal Yao Younge, is drawn from the diverse community of WVU students. This internationally recognized ensemble has performed throughout United States , Taiwan and South Korea .
Highlights include the group’s appearances at the Seoul International Drum Festival in Seoul , South Korea , in 2001; the Lotus Blossoms World Music Festival in Bloomington , Ind. , in 2003 and 2005; and the Percussive Arts Society’s International Conventions in Nashville in 2001 and in Columbus , Ohio , in 1999.
Now under the directorship of Nunn, the ensemble is one of the many ensembles from WVU ’s World Music Center . The African Ensemble’s mission is to entertain as well as educate through West African music and dance.
Nunn is also coordinator of the WVU World Music Center , teaching African music studies and directing the Division of Music’s Taiko (Japanese drum) Ensemble. He is currently a doctoral candidate in percussion at WVU , focusing on world music, and also serves as adjunct percussion instructor at Alderson-Broaddus College .
He earned his master’s degree at East Carolina University and his bachelor’s degree in music education at Western Carolina University . With more than 20 years of experience as a performer and educator, Nunn has participated in study trips to West Africa and Cuba , where he has developed expertise in various areas of non-Western percussion.
Tickets for the WVU African Ensemble Concert are $12 for the general public, $10 for WVU faculty/ staff and senior citizens and $8 for WVU students. For tickets and more information, contact the WVU Box Office at (304) 293-SHOW.