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The Voices Of Africa Choral & Percussion ... / Press

“Wide Variety of Events Set for African-American Heritage Month at UA January 27, 2006 - Filed under: Events | Tagged: African-American Studies, Culture Click Here to Download High Quality VersionTUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An array of events will be offered at The University of Alabama to recognize February as African-American Heritage Month, ranging from forums on race relations to musical performances to a health and fitness fair to comedy entertainment and hip-hop poetry. “Voices of Africa,” an all-female a cappella choral and percussion ensemble will give two performances in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 16, including a 9 a.m. session at Shelton State Community College’s Bean Brown Theater and a 7 p.m. performance in the UA Ferguson Center Theater. The group performs and teaches the audience about the history, techniques and style of the traditional African instruments they play. For more information about the group, go to www.voicesofafrica.net/.”

“At the 19th annual Marion County Cultural Arts Festival, running today through Sunday in west Ocala, people will celebrate, sample and see examples of diverse cultures, particularly from Africa. Farther south, down U.S. 441, Belleview residents will celebrate their city's 123rd birthday on Saturday. While distinctly different in scope and mission, Founder's Day and Cultural Arts Festival will offer some similar trappings. Both will host food vendors, artists and craft makers. Both will fill stages with entertainment. Entertainment headliner: Founder's Day - Max Young, gospel and bluegrass Cultural Arts Festival - Voices of Africa, traditional African music”

“ Education is still important to VOA. "The biggest thing with inner-city kids is they don't want to admit anything moves them. Even today the sexism is rampant," says Agyiriwah, adopting a snide tone to add: "'Mmm-hmm, five women, what they gonna do?'" "Then to see them thaw: 'O my god! I can't believe how good you were!' say the presenters. 'You girls rock!' say the kids." As you read this, VOA are part of a healing weekend at Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, NY. That's very much in line with VOA's mission, says Agyiriwah. "It's amazing to see the healing that goes on in the churches. We start beating our drums to the rhythm of the heart and build from there. It reminds me of David in the Bible — 'Make a joyful to the Lord.' The suburban Presbyterians, who refer to themselves as The Frozen Chosen, bragged about how we thawed them out." ”

“The "Voices Of Africa" Choral & Percussion Ensemble This internationally acclaimed Ensemble presents a complete and unique experience of a cappella harmonies and traditional West African percussive rhythms. They are a vivacious, performing arts ensemble and have performed to standing ovations at the Women & Earth Conference, Ghana, West Africa, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., the National Women's Music Festival and many other venues throughout the country and abroad. www.voicesofafrica.net”

“TUESDAY Voices of Africa : The acclaimed Voices of Africa Choral and Percussion Ensemble performs at 5:30 p.m. at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park. Free. 301-405-2787 or claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.”

“March 5 2007: Voices of Africa All women's a cappella and percussion ensemble, performing a powerfully unique blend of soul-stirring a cappella harmonies and African Percussions.”

“Everett Community College’s 2006 Artist and Lecture Series continues April 18 with a free performance of Voices of Africa at the Snohomish County PUD auditorium. The internationally acclaimed all-woman ensemble performs soul-stirring a cappella harmonies and percussive rhythms with traditional West African instruments. Their music spans the African Diaspora through traditional African and African-American songs, message music, gospel and inspirational percussive rhythms. The group has performed throughout the world, including at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.”

“CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's annual Diversity Week will be Mon., Sept.10 through Sat., Sept.15. The event will celebrate the social issues, customs and entertainment of different cultures.”

“The Voices of Africa Choral Ensemble is an ensemble of African-American women who play music that spans the African diaspora. In their performances nationwide and abroad, they continually get the same reaction: People rise to their feet to the rejuvenating vibrations of the music, and are moved in spirit, mind, and body. They are dedicated to utilizing music for the purpose of peace, healing, and unity among all people, and believe that we all can use the spiritual power of the African drum to bring peace to individuals and communities. Now, the Voices of Africa comes to Omega for a heart-altering experience of rich harmonies and blood-boiling rhythm, suited for beginning drummers and singers, as well as those with experience.”

“The all-female Voices of Africa Choral Ensemble combines a cappella musical vocals with traditional African percussion poly-rhythms and instruments.”

“The beating of drums and the shaking of beads kept heads bobbing, hands clapping and bodies swaying at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School on Thursday. Students, staff and faculty were up on their feet, moving to the beats and voices of Voices of Africa, an all-female African-American a cappella and percussion group. The Philadelphia-based ensemble came to the school dressed in authentic Nigerian attire and equipped with authentic West African percussion instruments such as the hand-held sakara drum, the sekere (pronounced sha-ka-ray), agogo bells, and the big, deep-toned samba drum.”

“TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An array of events will be offered at The University of Alabama to recognize February as African-American Heritage Month, ranging from forums on race relations to musical performances to a health and fitness fair to comedy entertainment and hip-hop poetry. “Voices of Africa,” an all-female a cappella choral and percussion ensemble will give two performances in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 16, including a 9 a.m. session at Shelton State Community College’s Bean Brown Theater and a 7 p.m. performance in the UA Ferguson Center Theater. The group performs and teaches the audience about the history, techniques and style of the traditional African instruments they play. For more information about the group, go to www.voicesofafrica.net/.”

“The internationally acclaimed all-female ensemble, "Voices of Africa," will present a concert of traditional West African percussion and choral music on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Wall Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University. The event is free and open to the public. The arts ensemble has traveled worldwide, performing in locations such as Ghana, West Africa, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the National Women's Music Festival at Illinois State University. In addition to choral and percussion performance, the ensemble also reaches out to seniors and children worldwide through a parenting organization called DECACS Inc. This event is sponsored by Coastal's Multicultural Student Services and the Office of Student Activities and Leadership.”

“Voices of Africa Choral Ensemble "We are an Internationally acclaimed, all women's a cappella and percussion ensemble. We perform a powerfully unique blend of soul-stirring a cappella harmonies and African Percussions. The instruments we play are the Sekere (shay-ka-ray), sakara and samba drums and agogo (double headed bells). Our music spans the African Diaspora and brings a powerful message about our culture and tradition as African descendant women who dare to play drums. We are available to bring our culturally rich entertainment to your place of business, school, church, university, community center social and/or cultural programs. " Based in Philadelphia.”

"Attendees can also look forward to native song, dance, live music and a fashion show put on by international students. During dinner, guests will be treated to the sounds of the internationally acclaimed choral and percussion ensemble Voices of Africa. Tennakoon said the event is important for international students as many look forward to not only showcasing their culture but also meeting international alumni. She also stressed the opportunity for American students to experience new cultures."

“UWRF had special guests visit the campus, A world-renowned womans a cappella group, Voices of Africa, performed at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in North Hall auditorium. The groups performance is a powerful blend of female a cappella harmony and a variety of native African percussion instruments. VOA spans the African Diaspora creating messages about the culture and tradition of what it means to be a West African female drum player. Focus On U covered it first. ENJOY! Guest - Percussion 2010-03-13 03:02:02”

“VOICES OF AFRICA is an Internationally acclaimed, all women's a cappella and percussion ensemble. They perform a powerfully unique blend of soul-stirring a cappella harmonies and African Percussions. The instruments they play are the Sekere (Shay-ka-ray), Sakara (Saa-ka-ra) and Sangba drums and Agogo (ah-go-go) double headed bells). Their music spans the African Diaspora and brings a powerful message about their culture and tradition as African descendant women who dare to play drums.”

"This event gets bigger and better every year," said Ponder, who has worked with the festival for all 19 years and noted the event pulls in about 10,000 people over its three days. "We truly have the widest cultural selection this year that we've ever had." Philadelphia's The Voices of Africa Choral & Percussion Ensemble will headline Saturday's entertainment line-up at 3 p.m. Member Kristy Love said she is excited about playing the Cultural Arts Festival. "Everyone I've talked to from Ocala has been so nice, very inviting," said Love, who described her group of five as a fast-paced ensemble that strives to engage its audience. "There will be a lot of upbeat drumming, singing and dancing."

"Voices Of Africa" performing at Dupont Engineers Featuring: Zakiyya McKelven, Blanche Baxter, Adwoa Tacheampong, Nyo Agyiriwah, Nana Baakan, Managing Director and Founder. VOA as an organization , has been around some 25 years. We have traveled the continental expanse of the USA; appeared in Canada, Jamaica, London, Hawaii, and Ghana. VOA started out as a children's ensemble. VOA has now become an "African Cultural Arts Collective" that works with a variety of committed African Cultural Artist from around the Diaspora. Many of these artists are actively involved in the arts through dance, singing or drumming and lend their time to VOA to give it the professionalism, style and power that comes from well seasoned artists in the field.

“Nana Baakan has been singing, dancing and acting since she was a young child. She began the voices of africa choral and percussion ensemble in 1983 with her four children. She has performed with various groups, including, Women’s Shekere Ensemble, Kulu Mele, African Dance Ensemble, Eleto Egbe Omode (a children’s African Dance Ensemble she co-directed) and thousands of performances with The “Voices Of Africa” Choral & Percussion Ensemble around the country and abroad. Nana Baakan is an Akan Priestess, entrepreneur, dancer, percussionist, singer, lyricist, choreographer, educator and seamstress. She writes songs for the ensemble and arranges some of the percussion pieces the ensemble plays. Nana Baakan took the idea of “poly-rhythms” and applied them to the sakara drum, created a sakara drum battery and added the Sangba, a powerful drum usually played with in a djembe battery.”

“Gala Banquet & Award Ceremony The annual InterAction Gala Banquet is a special evening that celebrates years of dedication to saving lives and improving the human condition. The Gala will also feature lively entertainment from the choral and percussion ensemble, Voices of Africa.”

“Feb 18, 2012 COURIER-POST Out of Africa: Native cultures come to life through music Native cultures come to life through music If you go Voices of Africa, 6 p.m. Wednesday, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia.www.penn.museum. Voices of Africa, a Darby, Pa.-based ensemble, will perform in conjunction with the Penn Museum’s “Imagine Africa” exhibit. As the Museum invites visitors to reflect on what they know and what they think they know about Africa, this troupe of musicians, all singing, dancing and drumming simultaneously, will invite them to take a more active role. Founded by Nana BaakanAgyiriwah in 1990, the ensemble was originally comprised of Baakan’s four children and herself. It now features seven or eight performers, including both native Africans and African Americans, in what Baakan calls an “artistic collective.” “We’re blessed with two people in our ensemble who are indigenous Africans,” Baakan says.”

Dave Allen - Courier-Post

“As a co-founder in early 1986 of Performing Arts for Youth Inc., Felker has spent the past several decades ensuring that the nonprofit exposed students across the Fox Valley to, not only opera, but also art forms including Shakespearean theater, piano performance, vocal jazz, African choral music and percussion and polka. The Performing Arts for Youth Fund, which contains $100,000 from Performing Arts for Youth Inc., benefits arts outreach to Fox Valley schools, with a focus on live performances in schools. Over the years, the nonprofit financially has supported programming including residencies by American Players Theatre; visits by Opera for the Young; workshops with Voices of Africa, a women’s choral and percussion ensemble; polka instruction in physical education classes; programs by Lawrence University student musicians; and interactive concerts with pianist/composer John Harmon and vocalist Janet Planet, two of Wisconsin’s most accomplished jazz artists.”

“PHILADELPHIA, PA—Voices of Africa, Cultural Arts Collective choral and percussion ensemble, offers a community workshop and concert on Wednesday, February 22, 6 pm at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. The family-friendly event, free with Museum admission ($10 adult; $7 seniors 65 and older; $6 students and children 6-17), is a featured program offered in conjunction with the Museum's year-long gallery project, Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum. An African Cultural Arts Collective that works with a range of Philadelphia area artists from around the African Diaspora, Voices of Africa has performed widely throughout the region, around the country at sites including the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., and the National Women's Music Festival, and at venues internationally since its founding in 1990. The Penn Museum program with Voices of Africa features an ensemble of 6-8 singers, drummers and dancers. The program is curated by Gina Renzi, Director of The Rotunda.”

“Music: LIVE: Voices of Africa The Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY Voices of Africa are an internationally acclaimed, all women’s a cappella and percussion ensemble. They perform a powerfully unique blend of soul-stirring cappella harmonies and African Percussions. They play the following instruments: Sekere (Shay-ka-ray), Sakara (Saa-ka-ra) and Sangba drums and Agogo (ah-go-go) double headed bells). Their music spans the African Diaspora and brings a powerful message about the culture and tradition of African descendant women who dare to play drums. DECACS, Inc., a non for profit organization, is the parent organization of the ‘Voices of Africa” Choral Ensemble.”

“25th Annual Celebration of Black Writing Come join the festivities at the Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony (Friday, May 22, 2009), featuring internationally acclaimed women’s acappella choral and percussion ensemble, Voices of Africa,and a special tribute by poet Sonia Sanchez in memory of author and professor Kristin Lattany.”

“Voices of Africa, Cultural Arts Collective choral and percussion ensemble, offers a community workshop and concert on Wednesday, February 22, 6 pm at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. The family-friendly event is a featured program offered in conjunction with the Museum's year-long gallery project,”

“ Voices of Africa an all female Choral & Percussion Ensemble group based in Philadelphia came to Delaware Futures to perform and teach students about the sounds and movements of West African and Brazilian music and culture.”

“The Voices of Africa choral and percussion ensemble engage and entertain UW Oshkosh students with drums, dance and song Feb. 17 in Mi Taza, Reeve Memorial Union. This Black History Month event featured West African- and Nigerian-influenced instruments, including many different variations of drums.”

“Voices of Africa: African-descendant drum ensemble Voices of Africa will perform a free concert in Pease Auditorium, Sunday, March 19, 8 p.m. The group features women singing four-and five-part acapella harmonies and playing West African percussions spanning the culture and traditions of the African Diaspora. The group will provide an educational performance for K-8 schools Monday, March 20, 11 a.m., Pease Auditorium. For more information, call Campus Life, 487-3045.”

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