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11th World Music and Dance Concert Program

11th World Music and Dance Concert Program

Friday April 14, 2023
Baker Center Ballroom
Athens, OH

Concert Directors:
Paschal Yao Younge & Zelma Badu-Younge

View Designed Program [PDF]



"Bateria de Samba"

Ohio University Percussion Studio
Directed by Amaya Conejo Johanna


Samba is a traditional music from Brazil. Like many other musical traditions of South America, it has a strong African influence. This dialogue between African and Brazilian indigenous culture is performed in the annual Brazilian Carnaval by ensembles known as Escolas de Samba (Samba Schools). The large percussion ensemble that is part of the Escolas de Samba is called bateria. The Batería of the Ohio University Percussion Studio presents three excerpts derived from samba: Samba Batucada, Alujá, and Samba Reggae. The musicians in the Bateria Ensemble play a wide array of instruments that include Caixas, Repenique, Tamborins, Agogos, Ganzás, Chocalhos, and Surdos.


Ohio University African Ensemble

Sanga is one of the recreational dances and drumming of the Ashanti “Akan”. Instruments used in this ensemble and their specific rhythmic motives suggest northern Ghana, Dagbamba origins. The dance may be called a “chase”. Its characteristic form is the strutting, bobbing up and down and a display of theatrical elegance. The women dancers wear bustles to attract and at the same time tease the men dancers.


Ohio University Steel Band
Special Guests: Dr. Shawn M Roberts and Mike Ramsey

“Africa” is a song recorded by the American band Toto in 1981, for their fourth studio album Toto IV, and released as the album’s third single on September 30, 1982, through Columbia Records. The song was written by band members David Paich and Jeff Porcaro and composed by Toto. The soft rock and jazz fusion song lyrically incorporates themes of love and location but is described by Porcaro as being about “a boy [writing about] Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.” Arranged and Directed by Eric Fountain.

"The Harder They Come"

Ohio University Steel Band
Special Guests: Dr. Shawn M Roberts and Mike Ramsey

The heart of the soundtrack (released in 1972) comes from performances by the film’s star, reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. The soundtrack album played a major part in popularizing reggae in the United States and the world beyond, the film itself preventing the genre from remaining an isolated phenomenon in Jamaica. In 2003, the album was ranked number 119 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest album list. The album also appears on greatest albums lists from Time and Blender and was named the 97th best album of the 1970s by Pitchfork Media. Arranged and Directed by Eric Fountain.

"No Woman No Cry"

Ohio University Steel Band
Special Guests: Dr. Shawn M Roberts and Mike Ramsey

“No woman don’t cry” (release in 1975) is what Bob Marley really means in this classic hit. It’s about Marley’s upbringing, his stories in his hometown (Trench Town), his lyrics are both political and personal, mentioning the “government and the hypocrites which he really hated,” as well as talking to a woman who is crying and telling her not to cry and to forget the past. Marley is reminding the woman of the good memories, and the fact that “everything’s gonna be alright”. The line of the song is “No, Woman, Nuh cry.” Nuh is Jamaican for “don’t,” the meaning of the lyric is No, Woman, don’t cry. Arranged and Directed by Eric Fountain.


Welcome Remarks:

Dean, Matthew Shaftel
College of Fine Arts, Ohio University




Oyu Oro
New York City-based Afro-Cuban Dance company
Danys “LaMora” Pérez, Artistic Director and Choreographer

"Wemilere of Orichas"

The Orisha are deities that derive from the Yoruba-Lucumi culture of West Africa and are accompanied by the rhythms of Bata drums, Guiros, and original Yoruba chants.


This deity owner of the roads, crossroads, doors, and destinations, the first of the trilogy of warriors, known for having a mischievous childish nature, one of the elements used in the doodle (wooden stick).


The queen of fresh waters, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and rain. She represents love, sweetness honey, beauty, and fertility.


He is a mighty and fierce warrior. Ogun has the intelligence and creativity to invent tools, he builds like a great blacksmith. His element is the machete.


She is the owner of the ocean and mother of all. She represents motherhood, a tireless warrior.


He is the king of thunder, drums, and fire. he loves wemileres (celebrations) Powerful warrior always holding an axe.

Dahomey Prayer
Zepol Dance (Fraco-Haitian)

Dances of Afro-Haitian origin were introduced to Cuba at the end of the 18th century by Haitian and French immigrants who settled in eastern Cuba. The musical instruments, songs, and rhythms were derived from the ceremonies of the Dahomean people. The songs of the patios retain their character.

Bantu Prayers
Dance Congo/Palo-Mani

Dance of the Congo is recognized in Cuba as Palo; they originated in the Congo and were introduced to Cuba during the slave trade in the western part of the island. Dance and music express three essential factors: the power of the spirits and the communication with the ancestors manifested through their object of worship called Nganga; The Congos are recognized in Cuba as Paleros or Mayomberos, it is one of the African ethnic groups that has left a strong mark on the Cuban cultural scene.


This secular social dance of colorful expression and high energetic level is originally from Angola (Mandinga) and is part of the unique Afro-Cuban compendium of the east side of the Island.


It is a unique popular dance style that was born in Santiago de Cuba on the sidelines of Carnival. These wooden sandals, or cutaras, as they are called in the eastern part of the island, are used as percussion instruments. It is danced to the rhythm of the Conga / Comparsita Santiaguera.

Finale Guantanamera/Limbo





Oyu Oro

Oyu Oro is a New York City-based Afro-Cuban dance company founded by Danys “La Mora” Pérez, the 2019 Dance/USA Doris Duke Fellow. The company is committed to building bridges among African diasporic and Hispanic cultures as well as between traditional and unconventional modern dance forms while preserving Afro-Cuban culture through dance, song, and music. Oyu Oro’s traditional repertoire pays tribute to African lineages derived from the Yoruba, Congo, Carabali, Arara and Dahomean cultures of West Africa and Haiti. The popular dance choreographies celebrate the Cuban heritage. Oyu Oro – represented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance – has performed at national and international cultural events. In 2007, Oyu Oro premiered “Palenque,” its first evening-length work, at La Mama Annex stage. For this performance, Pérez assembled seasoned Afro-Cuban artists in America, including 20-plus New York-based dancers, vocalists, and musicians. Since then, Oyu Oro has premiered presentations at events such as Teatro Mella in Havana, Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba, Chase Latino Cultural Festival, DanceAfrica, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Harlem Havana Festival. Since 2011, Oyu Oro has received grants from the New York City Council of the Arts. Last year, it was featured on ABC News’ “Soul of a Nation” during its airing of “Corazon de America: Celebrating Hispanic Culture.” Oyu Oro aspires to create works that serve as informational tools for researchers and a source of enjoyment for audiences of multicultural backgrounds who seek a greater development of “art among people.” Artists: Alexander La Rosa, Edwin Tolentino, Isabel Estrada, Jenae Suire, Dylan Blanchard, Mike Ramsey, Susan Rapalee, Francisca Makafui Modedzi, Maikel Castellanos, Einar Leliebre, Juan Yoanis Carrion, and Jose Alfredo Carrion

Dans "LaMora" Pérez

Originally from Santiago de Cuba, Danys "La Mora" Pérez is a master of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance. Pérez is a dancer, teacher, dance ethnologist and choreographer who specializes in the styles of the Oriente province, a region whose culture infuses Afro-Haitian influences into an Afro-Cuban context. At 13, she joined Ballet Folklorico Cutumba and toured Internationally for 18 years. She earned the highest designation of primera bailarina and primera profesora. Pérez has taught in Italy. Spain, France, and Canada as well as at Brown, Cornell, University of Wisconsin, University of New Mexico, Wayne State University, University of Michigan and Tulane University. Katherine Dunham invited Perez to her East Saint Louis seminars. This icon's invitation led to the inaugural performance of Detroit's Museum of African American History, In 2005, La Mora founded Oyu Oro, an Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble in New York. The company has performed around the U.S. in cities such as New York, Denver, Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. In 2010, she established the Dos Aguas Dance Program, a study of culture for enthusiasts to lear in Cuba.

Pérez teaches dance classes in New York, including at The Ailey Extension and Cumbe African & Diaspora Dance & Drum.


Ohio University African Ensemble and Steel Band

The Ohio University African Ensemble (OUAE) exposes the art of African dance-drumming and dance forms to students. It provides performance opportunities for Ohio University students from diverse cultures and academic backgrounds. The ensemble also introduces music and dance majors/minors to non-western art forms. Students in the OUAE through the College of Fine Arts’ Music and Dance courses, including African Ensemble 1 and II (School of Music), and African Dance Levels I - IV, Special Topics in Dance, Dance Repertory (School of Dance), specializes in a broad spectrum of musical styles ranging from work-based dances to ritualistic ones representing East, West, Central, and Southern Africa. Our repertoire includes traditional dances from Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Togo, Nigeria, Uganda, Benin, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. In addition, the ensemble has also created new contemporary dances and instrumental works that utilize the many concepts, structures, themes, and resources emanating from the African Diaspora. Members of the Steel Band and mainly from the African Ensemble with other interested students from various departments. These ensembles feature in the annual Ohio University Global Arts Festival and World Music and Dance Concerts at Ohio University. Performers: Caleb C. Hansman, Casey J. Morarity, Emma R. Prochaska, Allison M. Rollins, Johanna A. Amaya Conejo, Shalewa Ajenipa Babatayo, Maria J. Johnny, Samson J., Lawrence, Benjamin Obeng Kyei, Tyra Teague, Angela P. Opell, Mahmoud Mohammed, Will Davenport, Caleb C. Hansman, Kelly O’Quinn, Halle M. Cremeans, Mallory A Godwin, Lainey E. Harbert, Emily K. Royse, Sara E. York, Sierra J. Belmares, Matthew Simmers, Deon Bapriste, and Megan Tedrick.

For additional information about the Ohio University African Ensemble and Steel Band and to find out how you might participate, please contact:

Paschal Yao Younge Zelma Badu-Younge

Professor of Multicultural Education/World Music Director, School of Dance

Co-Director Global Arts Festival Co-Director Global Arts Festival

Co-Director Ohio University African Ensemble Co-Director Ohio University African Ensemble

Ohio University Percussion Studio

The Ohio University Percussion Studio approaches music from several perspectives. In addition to being in touch with western practices, the students examine diverse percussive traditions of multiple countries including Cuba, Haití, Brazil, Colombia, and Japan. Collective exercises play a fundamental role in the academic life of the OU Percussion Studio. Through collaborative projects, the members explore the essence of non-western percussion and dive into the intricacies of rhythm and its link with context and society.

Paschal Yao Younge 

Musician, Scholar, Composer, Author, Music Educator and Performer 

A Multi-talented and Interdisciplinary Musician, Scholar, Composer, Author, Music Educator and Performer

The sights and sounds of Africa fill the air when Paschal Yao Younge, a multi-talented and interdisciplinary musician, scholar, composer, author, and performer presents world percussion music and dance forms internationally, focusing on styles from Africa and the African Diaspora. Dr. Younge, Professor of Music at Ohio University is currently the Executive and Music Director of Azaguno, Inc., a multi-ethnic ensemble based in Athens, Ohio that focuses on research, preservation, and performance of African, African American, Caribbean and Latin American Music and Dance. Paschal was born at Dzodze, a village in the Volta Region of Ghana to Augustine Kwasiga Younge and Catherine Younge, both musicians. His parents introduced him to western and traditional Ghanaian musical instruments at an early age of 3. It was no surprise that by age 8, Paschal had learned to play the organ and violin, accompanied the church choir with traditional African instruments and participated in community cultural groups. Throughout his life, Paschal has continued to study and teach other western musical instruments such as the trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, alto saxophone, and clarinet in addition to various traditional Ghanaian musical types and instruments. He continues to further his understanding and knowledge of the entire African cultural heritage through drumming dancing and research. As a specialist in African choral and brass band music, clinician in other sub-Saharan African musical arts, world percussion and advocate of intercultural, interdisciplinary, and multicultural music, Younge has presented and performed at several festivals, concerts, and conferences internationally in over 45 States/Provinces in the US/Canada and 29 countries internationally. Prior to coming to Ohio University, Younge taught at WVU where he served as Director of the World Music Center and at University of Ghana as Principal Music Instructor and director of several ensembles including brass bands, choirs, and other instrumental groups.

Zelma Badu-Younge 

Choreographer, Scholar, Educator & Performer

Zelma Badu-Younge, Director of the School of Dance at Ohio University is one of the most charismatic cultural fusion artists, captivates her audience as she steps on stage. This mesmerizing performer is considered one of the most electrifying choreographers in Canada; with her high- energy synthesis of West African traditions combined with other world dance forms. A natural born mover, it’s been said that she could dance before she could walk. Zelma’s passion for dance led her to study at the National Ballet School of Canada (Toronto), l’ Academie des Grands Ballet Canadiens (Montreal), Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (New York City) and at University of Ghana’s School of Performing Arts. She holds a B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance and Choreography (Concordia University), a M.F.A. in Dance Ethnology (York University), and a Ph.D. in Culture and Values in Education (McGill University).Dr. Badu-Younge is Professor of Dance at Ohio University, and Dance Director/Choreographer for Azaguno, a multi-ethnic ensemble focusing on research, preservation, and the performance of global forms. She has presented scholarly papers, conducted workshops, or performed internationally in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia, including guest speaker at Princeton University’s 3rd International Symposium on the Music of Africa, and Society of Dance History Scholars conference on Dance Dramaturgy at York University. Zelma performed as solo vocalist with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir in New York City and throughout Canada, and Germany and has produced multicultural arts festivals, concerts, conferences, and symposia. A recipient of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award - choreography (2016 & 2008), NAACP Image Award for Excellence in Faculty Academics and Research and multiple awards in Canada - the prestigious Chalmers Awards for Creativity and Excellence in the Arts, Laidlaw Foundation, and Canada Council for the Arts Awards. She was also highlighted in a cover story as a Cultural Ambassador in Dance Teacher Magazine.

Eric Fountain 

Eric Fountain is the music director at Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in St. Petersburg, Florida since 2016. Prior to coming to Our Savior Lutheran School, he studied and worked for Dr. Ellie Mannette “Father of the Steel Drum” at Mannette Musical Instrument in Morgantown, West Virginia. Eric continues to build and tune instruments around Florida and other southern parts of the US. Eric was the main tuner for the Massy Finance New Generations Branch in the 2019 Miami Panorama. Eric has been a member of Azaguno since 2002 has traveled with the group to Taiwan, China, Canada, South Korea, the Caribbean, Mexico, across the United States.

Dr. Shawn M Roberts

Dr. Shawn M Roberts is the principal percussionist for the Western Piedmont Symphony, Hickory Choral Society, and da Capo Brass. He is the founder and artistic director of Worldwide Productions which oversees Eya!! Afrolachian Drum and Dance, the Worldwide Acoustic Quartet, and the recently formed High Country Drum Collective. He is also the drummer and percussionist for the Appalachian roots reggae band, Rastacoustic. Dr. Roberts is the Director of Percussion and World Music Studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University, teaches humanities courses at both Caldwell Community College and Appalachian State University, and provides both private and group instruction through the AppState Community Music School. Dr. Roberts received his Doctor of Musical Arts from West Virginia University, holds an MM in Percussion Performance and a BM in Music Education, both from Appalachian State University.

Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey is a Brooklyn based drummer and percussionist known for his versatility. Broadway credits include MJ, Ain’t Too Proud, Caroline, or Change, The Lion King, Once on This Island, On Your Feet, Cirque du Soleil’s PARAMOUR, and many others. Orchestral credits include The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Seoul Philharmonic, and The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Live music for Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble, and The National Dance Company of Ghana. Guest clinician at Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, and North Carolina Central University. Mike is a BAM teaching artist and a founding member of AZAGUNO, which is a multi-ethnic African culture group created by his mentor Dr. Paschal Yao Younge. Please check out the group KALUNGA, whose self-titled debut EP can be found on all platforms.


This event is made possible through the generous support of the College of Fine Arts, Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Center for International Studies, Performing Arts Series, Office of the Dean of Students, Honors Tutorial College, Multicultural Programs and Center, Campus Involvement Center, Ohio University School of Music, School of Dance, College of Osteopathic Medicine, African Studies Program, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, and Arts for Ohio. The Directors also want to thank our special guest artists and ensembles, Oyu Oro, a New York City-based Afro-Cuban dance company founded by Danys “La Mora” Pérez, the 2019 Dance/USA Doris Duke Fellow, Ohio University Percussion Studio, Ohio University Steel Band, Ohio University African Ensemble, Andrew Holzaepfel, Winsome Chunnu-Brayda, Gerald Chidiebere Chukwu, Corbin Marsh, Daniel King, Jasper Dafeamekpor, John Scott Oancea, Jeremy Schafer, and the staff of the Baker Student Center.


Concert Directors Paschal Yao Younge & Zelma Badu-Younge 

Technical Directors Jeremy Schafer and Corbin Marsh

Stage Manager and Lightning Design Jeremy Schafer and Corbin Marsh

Costumes Zelma Badu-Younge & Paschal Yao Younge

Set Design Jeremy Schafer and Corbin Marsh

Props Zelma Badu-Younge & Paschal Younge 

Program Design Ohio University Printing Services & Paschal Yao Younge

Poster Design Daniel King and Jasper Dafeamekpor 

Program Paschal Yao Younge 

Videography and Editing Hyfocal Multimedia

Photography Gerard Chidiebere Chukwu and Daniel King