Iniké Afrique! concert features master dancers and drummers

The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples will celebrate Black History Month and the International Year for People of African Descent with Performing Diaspora 2011: Iniké Afrique Music Festival – a concert and series of workshops on African music, drumming and dance.

The concert, featuring performances by Nutifafa, DRUMHAND, Samba Squad, Manding Foli Kan Don, Moussou Folila and Baro Dununba, as well as master drummers, dancers and educators, will take place on Friday, Feb. 18, at the Founders College Assembly Hall, Keele campus. The doors open at 6:30pm and the concert starts at 7:30pm. It is touted as a night that will move body and soul to rich percussive rhythms from across the globe.

The Performing Diaspora 2011: Percussion and Dance Workshop Series will run during Reading Week from Feb. 19 to 25 at York. The workshops will feature African diaspora percussion, music and dance instructors, including hand percussive drumming and dance from West Africa and Latin America, allowing those who have an appreciation of the performing arts to participate in hands-on, high energy and interactive ways that will take them on a journey through the African diaspora. Previous experience is not necessary.

The workshops will include the study of the steel pan with Gareth Burgess; kpanlogo and dance in Ghanian tradition with Modesto Amegago; and dundun dance and djembe, both traditional and contemporary Susu and Malinke traditions, with Mbemba Bangoura. For the full workshop schedule, click here.

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn from master drummers, dancers, griots and educators, such as Mbemba Bangoura (Guinea), Amara Kante (Guinea), Amadou Kienou (Burkina Faso), York dance Professor Modesto Amegago (Ghana) and Gareth Burgess (Trinidad).

There will also be a lunchtime artist session, during which workshop leaders will give a talk on specific historical, cultural, musical and dance traditions. Workshop leaders and participants will have the opportunity to perform at York Gate Mall (near Jane and Finch) at 5:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 24, hosted by the York University – TD Community Engagement Centre, and at the Performing Diaspora 2011: Final Showcase performance on Friday, Feb. 25, from 7:30 to 11pm, at Winters Master’s Dining Hall, Keele campus. To reserve tickets, click here.

The workshops will take place in the music and dance studios in Accolade East Building, Keele campus. To register for the workshops, fill in the registration form. The cost of the full package, including all workshops, is $100. The cost of one day of workshops is $40.

Tickets for the Iniké Afrique Music Festival cost $15 at the door or $12 in advance at African Drums & ArtCrafts, 618 Dundas St. W. in Toronto (416-597-0175), at the Harriet Tubman Institute, 329 York Lanes, or by e-mailing Janelle Belgrave, co-curator of Performing Diaspora, at or ext. 33058.

The Performing Diaspora is produced and presented by the Harriet Tubman Institute in partnership with York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the departments of music and dance, Founders College, Winters College and the York University – TD Community Engagement Centre.

For more information about the concert, visit the Performing Diaspora: Iniké Afrique Music Festival website.