Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa to perform at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2008-10-20 07:21:03 - General

The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa will perform on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium at Coe College.

The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa will perform as part of the Marquis Series at Coe College, on Saturday, Nov. 1, beginning at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door or by calling the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa draws much of its inspiration from the diverse cultures of West Africa where some of the most colorful and striking musical traditions originate. The ensemble's songs and dances are influenced by the traditions of several different nations such as Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and the Ivory Coast. This accomplished and well-respected group of traditional West African musicians, instrumentalists and dancers was founded in 1970 to revive folkloric music forms, fostering the arts and culture of the indigenous people.

The group has traveled all over the world performing traditional Griot songs, reggae and the kora, a 21-stringed instrument of the lute family used across West Africa. Through their performances, the group paints a colorful and exciting picture of the oral and musical rites of these diverse peoples. The performers are directed by Bamba Dembele, a star of the Super Rail Band of Bamako as well as the percussionist in the Super Djata band Karkar.

The Marquis Series at Coe College
The Coe College Lecture and Performance Series is funded in part by a gift from the estate of Sarah Marquis, in honor of her father, Dr. John A. Marquis, who was president of Coe College from 1909-1920. The purpose of the series is to bring entertainment and educational experiences to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community.