“We hosted the Kusun Ensemble at the California WorldFest this year. Nice folks, quality show, great energy, and they got the whole place jumping! The WorldFest crowd had a ball.”
Following their enthusiastic reception at this year's California WorldFest in July, the Kusun Ensemble is back for an evening of music and dance.
The group includes an extraordinary ensemble of musicians from the rhythm and beat culture of Ghana. The group includes past and present members of The National Ballet and The Pan African Orchestra.
They perform the traditional rhythms of the Ga people as well as other indigenous music from West African cultures.
The Kusun Ensemble takes audiences on a journey through life in West Africa. The songs tell stories of the railway projects where the men sing of longing and loneliness being so far from their families, stories of pregnant teenage girls and the village gossip and songs the fishermen sing when they pull in their boats.
Despite the hardship that some of these songs detail, the music is always full of the joy and humor for which Ghanaians are famous. The dances express daily activities in the village. From performing at Panafest '99 to touring Australia in the year 2000, the Kusun Ensemble is one of the top performing groups in Ghana and their traditional performances and workshops are just part of their repertoire.
They also play the popular dance music of Ghana known as hi-life and have just released their debut CD, Omanye.
These are some of the same members that sold out two nights at The Center for the Arts in 2007.
Leading the group is traditional Ghanan drummer David Etse Nyadedzor. David studied drumming at the Folkloric Selamta — Center for National Culture, Accra, Ghana.
His studies included Ghanaian and other African drumming techniques resulting in a repertoire of Ghanaian, Togolese, Nigerian, Guinean, Senegalese, Zimbabwean and South African dances. He has presented clinics and master classes at universities and schools in the US and abroad.
Know & Go
Who: The Center for the Arts presents
What: Kusun Ensemble
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley
Tickets: $25 general admission; available at The Center Box Office, (530) 274-8384 ext. 14; BriarPatch, (530) 272-5333; Cherry Records, (530) 823-2147; After the Gold Rush Records, (530) 265-3090; Yabobo, (530) 478-9114.
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