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On Monday, January 19, at 7 p.m. master drummer Jordan Benissan, an applied music associate in Colby’s Department of Music, and his band Sankofa will perform a concert of West African traditional drumming and highlife music at Colby College in Waterville. The concert will be held in Given Auditorium of the Bixler Art and Music Center. It is free of charge and open to the public.
Sankofa combines traditional rhythms and songs with modern music. Benissan and Sankofa recently performed a two-day concert of Worldbeat music with the Portland Symphony Orchestra for 8,000 New England elementary schoolchildren.
Benissan, a native of Togo and member of the Ewe ethnic group, teaches African drumming at Colby and has taught drumming and music to students of all ages and levels. He is a master drummer–a teacher, oral historian and custodian of his people’s heritage. To become a master drummer Benissan studied for 10 years with traditional master drummers from the Ewe, Ashanti, Ga and Yoruba people of West Africa and then performed for another 10 years to master the craft.
In 2003 Benissan released Beautiful Music From West Africa, his second solo CD.
Editor’s Note: The January 18th West African drumming concert with Obo Addy and Jordan Benissan has been cancelled. Also, Addy will not perform at the January 19th concert.