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Two Ghanaian Musicians will Join Ithaca College School of Music Students to Perform African Music

ITHACA, NY — Ghanaian musicians Sulley (“So'-lay”) Imoro and Alfred Kpebesaane — currently artists in residence at the Ithaca College School of Music — will join students from their “African Drumming and Dance” and “Worlds of Music” classes in a concert on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Free and open to the public, the performance will begin at 7 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music.

The program will offer recreational, funeral and festival dances and songs from the Upper North, South and Greater Accra regions of Ghana, as well as regions in central Ghana bordering the Volta River.

Imoro was eight years old when he began learning African drumming and dance from his father, a dancer well-known throughout his native Ghana. “Anytime in the village when we didn’t have entertainment, Father would bring the drums out and play,” Imoro said. “Sometimes we didn’t have light in the village, and if the moon was bright, we would come together and play and dance.” Since then, Imoro has become a renowned performer and teacher of traditional Dagomba drum, dance and song. Currently the director and founder of the Mbangba Cultural Troupe and the Degara Bewaa Culture group of Tamale, Imoro has performed throughout Africa, Europe and the United States. In Ghana, he and his troupe entertained numerous high-profile visitors, including former President Bill Clinton.

Percussionist Alfred Kpebesaane also calls Ghana his home. Although he performs with many traditional instruments from southern Ghana, his main instrument is the gyil (xylophone), which originates from the Dagara tribe in northwestern Ghana. He began performing at age 12 at elementary and government schools in his native land. A former student of Imoro’s, Kpebesaane has toured and performed at workshops and festivals throughout the world. He is a member of Imoro’s Mbangba Cultural Troupe.

For more information, contact Baruch Whitehead, associate professor of music education, at (607) 274-7988 or