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Crane’s West African Drum and Dance Ensemble Will Perform on April 23

04.18.17
African Drumming
Members of the Crane West African Drum and Dance Ensemble perform kpanlogo during a performance in April 2016 with Guest Artist Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng (far left). Featured here are (from left to right) Andry Rosario, Michael Jadlos, Giovanna Savoie, Sarah Burns, Samantha Fay, and Ruben Juarez.

SUNY Potsdam is proud to present a concert by the Crane School of Music’s West African Drum and Dance Ensemble on Sunday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater. The concert will include musical compositions from the Ewe people who reside in West Africa. The performance includes: Tu Tu Gbovi (Ewe Lullaby), Bobobo Dance-Drumming (Ewe recreational music), Agbadza Dance-Drumming (Ewe funeral music), Kpanlogo Dance-Drumming (Ga recreational music) and recitation of Akan proverbs.

The Crane West African Ensemble will be joined by guest master drummer Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng, an expert Ghanaian musician who brings a high level of musical mastery and rhythmic virtuosity to any performance.  The event will be lively and upbeat, with opportunities for the audience to participate and dance with the group at the end.  This is a great event for people of all ages, including families with young children.

This concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.

About the performers:

The Crane West African Drum and Dance Ensemble performs music from Ghana, Togo and neighboring countries of West Africa.  The ensemble strives to perform and represent West African traditional music in the most accurate way possible.  Students learn the material through an oral method, rather than through written notation or scores.  The group is an inclusive community open to all students at SUNY Potsdam regardless of musical background or ability. The students in the group reflect a diversity of backgrounds and majors.  

Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng has worked with the ensemble since its start in Spring 2013.  He is a renowned drummer, composer, dancer and educator originally from Ghana who has worked internationally for the past 30 years.  He began drumming at the age of five and by age 17 he was appointed Royal Court Drummer to the high chief of the Aburi-Akuapim region of the Eastern Region of Ghana.  He was a member of Ghana's National Arts Council Folkloric Company.  He has continued to perform traditional music of West Africa. Additionally, he performs highlife, jazz, Latin music, reggae and different fusions of these styles.  Obeng teaches at Brown University, and has shared the stage with such luminaries as Max Roach, Roy Hargrove, Randy Weston, Anthony Braxton, Gideon Alorwoyie and Obo Addy.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.

Media contact:

Jason Hunter, Office of College Communications
(315) 267-2648