Annual African Drum and Dance Festival @djapoArts

drum fest

Sat 6/20-Sun 6/21

It is the culminating event for the Djapo Cultural Art Institute’s year-long community dance and drum classes. The 6th annual two-day Dance and Drum Festival includes West African dance and drum classes taught by highly skilled and trained instructors from around the world — Senegal, the United Kingdom, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and the U.S. This year’s event celebrates the lifelong connections that are made to enhance the lives of family and self, containing a theatrical infusion of dance, poetry, drumming and song.

The weekend workshop of classes (see schedule below) offers 10 drum and dance classes, along with the opportunity to purchase handcrafted jewelry, clothing and other items that reflect the people of Africa and the diaspora. The classes will be held at the Phillis Wheatley Association (4450 Cedar Road). The Saturday night concert performance, “Connections,” joins master teachers and area performers for a moving tribute in celebration of our continuing legacy through connections.

Attendees should expect to be exposed to the dance and music of West Africa, and have the opportunity to purchase items reflective of that culture and taste food from the Carribean and West Africa,” says Talise Campbell, artistic director and choreographer at Djapo Cultural Art Institute. “There will be active audience members at the concert, as they will experience a magnificent concert with theater, dance and musical elements. Each year we get bigger and better. Moving into a high-tech performance space, Djapo will have the opportunity to take its production to new heights.”

Djapo Cultural Arts Institute was founded in 2009. The organization is dedicated to cultural outreach and awareness in the community, serving the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Boys and Girls Club, and civic and community service organizations throughout Northeast Ohio.

“The concert has brought over 500 attendees each year and the conference continues to grow each year,” says Talise. “The festival provides a performance opportunity to community members that would like to get involved, try something new or it’s their first time performing. Plus, you will see our youth growing and blossoming before your very eyesas they are handed the torch to carry on our culture and traditions.”

Dance and drum workshops are Saturday, 10AM – 5PM and Sunday, 10AM – 9PM at the Phillis Wheatley Association. Classes are $12 for adults and $8 for teens and children. Saturday night’s performance concert starts at 8PM at the Breen Center. Tickets for the concert are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. You can purchase your tickets or register for a class HERE. Don’t delay… last year’s concert sold out quickly!

Everyone is welcome. 

Saturday Schedule

10:00 – 11:30AM  Sabar Class with Diene Sagna *all children are free

11:30 – 12:45PM Djembe Drum with Fode Lavia

11:45 –   1:15PM  Serer Dance with Idy Ciss

1:30 –   3:00PM  Kutiro Dance with Assane Konte

3:15 – 5:00PM  Djembe Dance with Alseny Soumah

Sunday Schedule

10:00 – 11:30AM  Djembe Dance/Song with Mouminatou Camara

11:45 –   1:15PM  Contemporary Dance with Nehemiah Taylor

12:30 – 1:45PM    Sabar Drum with Assane Mbaye (Pre-registration only)

1:30 –  3:00PM  Djembe Dance with Assane Konte

3:15 –  4:45PM  Wango Dance with Idy Ciss

5:00 –   6:30PM  Djembe Dance with with Alseny Soumah

7:00 –   8:30PM  Sabar Explosion with Diene Sagna

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