Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome to the New WADaBo List!

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As mentioned in our last email from the mailman list, we're switching some things up. Same great list, same great classes, workshops, performances and parties. Different website, different mailing list. Some of the differences you may notice:

  • Website: We've fully switched to Google Calendar for classes - this should be easier to read, and easier to update. We've added a Forum for discussions. We're still working on adding content, but it'll come. Updates to the site will be easier, and anyone can do so (if you're interested, drop a line). We're still putting finishing touches on new website (http://wadabo.drupalgardens.com/), check it out, feedback welcome! We'll port the full wadabo.com over there shortly.
  • Mailing List: You can adjust your preferences and info in MailChimp for emails coming to you. You can get HTML emails (and we can send HTML emails, not just plaintext)
Again, a HUGE THANK YOU to Robert D. for hosting our website & mailing list for so long.

About this list

We send weekly emails (on Tuesdays) about upcoming classes, workshops, performances, parties and trips to Africa.


Documentary Appearance Opportunity:

  • This Wednesday, February 16th, a student film crew from Emerson will be filming volunteer dancers AFTER Seydou's class for a documentary they are doing on Seydou. If you would like to volunteer/participate, please just stick around after Seydou's class. There will be NO filming during class. 
New Ghanaian Classes:New Ghanaian (Ewe) Classes
  • Introduction to Ewe drumming & song w/Nani Agbeli. Every Sunday: 5:00 – 6:00 PM (Starting Feb 20)
  • Introduction to Ewe dancing w/Nani Agbeli. Every Sunday: 6:00 – 7:00 PM (Starting Feb 20)
Both Classes @
World Rhythms Dance & Fitness
313 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA
(Near Davis Square – Parking in lot behind building)

$10.00 per class
$18.00 for both (same day)
10 class card for $90.00

To register, or for more information, e-mail info@agbekorsociety.org or go here: www.agbekorsociety.org

Reminder :: Special workshop w/Famoudou Konaté & Mamady Keïta from May 2 - 8


MIT Griot Festival, Feb 25-27

  • Lecture w/Aziz Seck; Workshops w/Mbaye Family Drum Troupe, Rich Faye, Babacar Ndiaye, Talla Ngom, Pape Bâ, Paa Seck,
    Demba Sène; Gala Performance, Tannibeer Afterparty
  • More Info here
Brown University Festival, Feb 25 & 26

Monday, February 14, 2011

[Wadabo_updates] Changes in WADaBo

Hello all -
I'd like to announce some changes to the WADaBo email list and website.

First, a giant THANK YOU to Robert, who has been hosting wadabo.com
and our mail server for the past few years. His assistance and
willingness to do this for free has been a great help, especially as
we have zero budget. We're moving forward hoping to use some free
tools on the web to keep us rolling.

We're moving our email list over to MailChimp. This means a few things:
* you'll need to reconfirm your subscription to WADaBo - so please be
on the lookout for an email from MailChimp - if you don't do
reconfirm, you may risk not getting future emails from us.
* a maximum of 4 emails a month from WADaBo will be sent to you
* emails will come out on Tuesdays only, so if you have submissions,
please get them in to me in advance - we can't send out one off emails
any more :(

A preview of our new website is available here:
The main website (http://wadabo.com) will move over here shortly.
The new site is still a bit of a work in progress, if you have
constructive comments or would like to help, please email

Thank you.
WaDaBo_Updates mailing list, WaDaBo_Updates@wadabo.com
Subscribe, Unsubscribe or View Archive:
This email is brought to you by www.WADaBo.com (West African Dance in Boston)

A full listing of regularly held West African Dance and Drum classes taught by master artists in and around Boston can be found at our website:
WADaBo is an entirely volunteer effort, if you would like to help out in anyway, please contact wadabo@gmail.com
WADaBo is a collective of individuals interested in promoting and enjoying Dance, Drum, Music, Language and Culture from West African and the Diaspora
If you would like to be removed from this list, or only contacted for certain events (performances, workshops, etc), please go to
and subscribe to this list. Pass it on!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

[Wadabo_updates] Famadou Konate + Mamady Keita in Boston

Announcing The Grandmasters Tour!

with Famoudou Konaté and Mamady Keïta together for the first time! Never - ever anywhere before!

An immersion in djembe and dunun drumming from these living legends.

Spots are going fast and we want everyone to get a chance to study the Mandé music from the two men who put the djembe on the global map!

Sell out is HIGH!

Boston  -  May 2 thru 8th

for more info and to register for this camp, please head on over to:


Saturday, February 12, 2011

[Wadabo_updates] MIT Griot Festival

MIT Stages 2nd Biennial Griot Festival:

Celebrating the music, drumming and dance of Africa's culture bearers

February 25 - 27, 2011



Rambax, the Senegalese drumming ensemble at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hosts a weekend of events celebrating the musical traditions of griots from Africa and the Diaspora on the weekend of February 25-27.  The Festival, held in conjunction with Black History Month, is curated by MIT artist-in-residence Lamine Touré and Prof. Patricia Tang.

Masters of words and music, griots are the hereditary musicians and keepers of oral history who have played an important role in many African cultures for centuries. For this event, Rambax will be joined by the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe, one of Senegal's most renowned families of griot drummers. Specialists in the sabar tradition, the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe is descended from 14th-century griots who accompanied the kings to the front lines of battle, drumming and singing their praises. The Mbaye Family Drum Troupe currently performs in Senegal at weddings, baptisms, sabar dances, political meetings and wrestling matches. 

The Troupe is featured in a book by MIT ethnomusicologist Patricia Tang entitled Masters of the Sabar: Wolof Griot Percussionists of Senegal.

"We are delighted to bring back members of the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe again this spring to share their rich musical traditions with MIT and the greater Boston area," says Professor Tang.  "This year we are especially excited to have Aziz Seck among the Troupe members, as Seck is a veteran of mbalax, the genre of popular music that has dominated Senegalese airwaves since the early 1970s.  Seck is a pioneer, being the first percussionist to introduce sabar into mbalax music.  We look forward to Seck sharing his music and experiences with us."

The festival will include drum and dance workshops led by members of the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe (Aziz Seck, Alassane Djigo, Vieux Touré and Mass Mbaye) as well as other African artists currently residing in the US.  There will also be a panel discussion with Aziz Seck which will give the public an opportunity to learn about the history and current role of griots throughout West Africa, with a focus on their role in the Senegalese popular music scene.

The festival will culminate in a gala performance of African music, drum and dance featuring the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe, Rambax MIT, and other guest artists including Pape Bâ, Sidi Mohamed "Joh" Camara, Ibrahima "Thiokho" Diagne, Rich Faye, Balla Kouyate,  Babacar Ndiaye, Sana Ndiaye, Talla Ngom, Cheikh Ngom, Yeumougor "Paa" Seck, Babacar "Moha" Seck, Demba Sène, Fatoumata Sylla, and Lila Sylla.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Made possible by MIT's Music and Theater Arts Section, the Council for the Arts, and the School for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Dean's Office.



Friday, February 25

Drumming with Griots: Sabar drumming workshops with the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe.

1:30-3:00pm (beginner level), 3:00-4:30pm (intermediate level), Rm N52-199 (Endicott World Music Room, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge).  Led by members of the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe.  No previous experience required.  Space limited; first-come first-serve basis.  Free and open to the public.

 Learning About History with Griots:  A Conversation with Aziz Seck. 

4:30-5:30pm  Rm N52-199 (Endicott World Music Room, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge).  Conversation with master Senegalese drummer Aziz Seck (Senegal), mbalax pioneer, and the first percussionist to introduce sabar into Senegalese popular music.  Moderated by Prof. Patricia Tang.  Free and open to the public. 



Saturday, February 26

African Dance Workshops at the Dance Complex (open to public)

10:30am-4:30pm            African Dance at the Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.  $15 per class.

10:30am-12:00pm              Sabar Dance w/ Rich Faye

12:00pm-1:30pm            Djembé Dance w/ Babacar Ndiaye

1:30pm-3:00pm            Sabar Dance w/ Talla Ngom

3:00pm-4:30pm            Kutiro Dance w/ Pape Bâ

4:30pm-6:00pm            Sabar Dance w/ Paa Seck

GRIOT CELEBRATION:  GALA PERFORMANCE of African music, drum and dance performance featuring the Mbaye Family Drum Troupe, Rambax MIT, and other guest artists. Directed by Lamine Touré. 8 p.m., Kresge Auditorium (48 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.)  $5 with Student ID; $10 general admission.

TANNIBEER AFTERPARTY at the Cambridge Community Center,  5 Callendar Street, Cambridge.

Sunday, February 27

African Dance Workshop at the Dance Complex (open to public)

12:00pm-1:30pm            Sabar Dance Class w/ Demba Sène and other guest artists. Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.  $15.


For more information, call (617) 253-2826.

Contact: Clarise Snyder, MIT Concerts Office

Email csnyder@mit.edu


Saturday, February 05, 2011

[Wadabo_updates] New Beginning African Dance Class in JP!

Announcing a NEW dance class - Beginning African Dance Class in JP!

Sundays at 1pm

Come get warm!
Move your body to the rhythms of West African Dance!

Dancing w/ Rachel Eliza Hope and drummers of West African rhythm!
Sundays at 1pm (7 week series)
$12 Class
Drop-Ins Welcome!
(Tony Williams Dance Studio @ The Brewery Jamaica Plain)

As an ongoing student of West African dance, Rachel Eliza Hope has been dancing this art form for 18 years. During that time she has performed and choreographed for concerts and has taught classes. She initially began her training in the Pacific northwest with local instructors and continued with teachers in Florida and upstate New York. Then in 1996 she began in Boston with notables as Fatou Ndaiye, Seydou Coulibaly, Mohammed Kalifa Camara, Aicha Sagna, Sidi Mohammed Camara and recently Pape Ndaiye, among many other local and visiting teaching artists. She also trained nationally, participating in many dance conferences with Yousouff Koumbassa and Djeniba Sacko among dozens of others. She has performed with dance groups including Silimbo Dance Company, Agua de Coco, and African Rhythms: Build a School in Africa Series. In 2006 she choreographed and danced for the Umass African Ensemble and in 2008 she produced, choreographed and performed in Soulthentic Union, her dance group featuring a fusion of West African and contemporary dance. She has been an African dance instructor in the Boston area and Cape Cod and assisted teaching classes with Fatou Carol Sylla at the University of Massachusetts. Also in 2008 Rachel visited Mali, West Africa where she studied traditional West African dances, spending time among master dance artists. Rachel is excited to share her knowledge of this very exciting art form!
Registration please contact:

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

[Wadabo_updates] Dance Complex Closed - Wed Feb 2

All -
A quick note that the Dance Complex is closed Wednesday February 2nd due to weather. This will affect Seydou Coulibaly's class, which is subsequently cancelled.
Thank you.