Midwest Mandeng: A West African Drum and Dance Festival

Thursday, September 24, 2015 to Sunday, September 27, 2015
Urbana, IL

On September 24-27th eight of the most sought-after, renowned West African drummers and dancers will come to Urbana, Illinois to perform and teach workshops as part of the second annual Midwest Mandeng, a festival celebrating the arts and culture of West Africa.

The artists hail from Guinea and Mali in West Africa and will include Youssouf Koumbassa, Marietou Camara, Djeneba Sako, and local dance master Djibril Camara teaching dance. Drummers will include Bolokada Conde, Fode Bangoura, Moussa Traore, and Abass Camara. Each of these artists have impressive resumes with extensive experience as performers and choreographers and are sought after to participate in workshops all over the world. These artists are to West African drumming and dancing what Michael Jackson and Katy Perry are to pop music.

On Thursday, September 24th Djibril Camara and Bolokada Conde will lead special workshops geared towards absolute beginners at the Channing-Murray Foundation in Urbana. Drumming and dance workshops on Friday, September 25th through Sunday, September 27th will be all-level classes appropriate for beginners and advanced students alike. These classes will be held at the historic Urbana Landmark Hotel.

Other festivities will include a free demonstration geared towards children and their families at the Urbana Free Library on Friday, September 25th at 4:00 p.m. and a “dundunba” dance party featuring live drumming at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 26th at Pizza M.

Last year the festivities attracted 127 attendees from as far away as Calgary, Canada and Santra Cruz, California. This year we are expecting even more visitors from near and far.

Visit www.cuwaddc.weebly.com for more information about the festival, including information about the schedule and rates for the workshops, our organization, and the artists.