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Ghanaian West African music and dance are full of expression and relate to life as it exists in Ghana. Music is everywhere in Ghana. On any given day, strolling through a village, one may hear a mother singing a lullaby to her child, a man singing a work song as he cuts down a tree for firewood, a child singing an insulting song to a cousin, or someone singing a dirge for a lost loved one. You may hear children drumming while imitating their older siblings, or perhaps there is a funeral for which communal musical performances will continue deep into the night.

 

In Ghanaian culture, life is reflected and portrayed through the movements and rhythms used in music, dance, and song.

Here are some primary rhythm samples for you to try. Have fun!

Gahu

Fume fume

Kete

Bawa

Nani Agbeli-Agbekor dancing, CarlArts 2.

BTC-Dance Class

Every Saturday at 12 pm. PST

The goal of Bridge the Core is to educate, share, and connect our community around the culture and traditions of Ghana, West Africa - specifically music, dance, song, and food...read more.

Price:

$15

Nani Agbeli-Agbekor dancing, CalArts 4.j

BTC-Drum Class

When: Sunday at 12 pm. PST

The hands-on teaching style in this class will enable you to achieve your highest potential while exploring Ghana's vibrant and dynamic musical....read more.

From:

$15

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BTC-for Kid's

When: TBD

"Nani's visits have helped my students develop their musical and social skills. They have learned to work together as an ensemble and have been exposed to the value of learning about different world cultures." - Sarah LeDuc

From:

$30

Coming soon
 

Nani grew up in Ghana among a family with great pride and passion for their rich culture and was inspired by the significance of cultural traditions and their ability to unify diverse people and communities. Godwin K. Agbeli and Victori A. Kudezi-Agbeli immersed their son, Nani, in traditional Ghanaian music and dance from a young age, notably permitting and encouraging his attendance at rehearsals and performances. Nani emerged from those experiences eager to embrace Ghanaian music and dance in his unique and extraordinary way. 

 

“In the early years of my training, I felt my teachers were being quite tough on me. However, with time, I finally understood the tacit knowledge of our ancestors that my instructors were trying to convey to me—the wisdom as to why they created this style of music/culture the way they did. I learned the importance of not simply completing an action but rather the need to immerse myself in the intricacy of each movement, drum beat, and vocal intonation.

 

That deeper interaction forced me to reflect on how the information my ancestors embedded into the art form is still relevant to my journeys today. It is essential for whatever we do or face in life to let us focus on and enjoy every step of the journey, as that will make the destination more meaningful. Now before I perform or teach, I always take a moment to reflect on how I can convey as much of this embodied knowledge to my audience so that the journey I take them on leads them to a spectacular destination.”

MUSIC AND DANCE: FOOD OF MY SOUL