Friday's event at Storybook Theatre in Hanapepe will feature a performance of traditional African music and dance, followed by an open circle with some instructional guidance for everyone to experience the joyful energy of drumming and dancing. Please bring your percussion instruments. Some drums will be provided.
Proceeds from this Friday's community drum and dance gathering will help Ernest and his children move to Kauai, where he will serve as Aloha Africa's artist in residence.
Aloha Africa is a group of drummers and dancers on Kauai who study traditional African rhythms. In partnership with Storybook Theatre, the group created a cultural exchange program in 2007, inviting guest artists from Ghana, West Africa to teach their indigenous music and dance on Kauai. The African artists also studied with Kumu Hula Jessi Jardin and performed Hawaiian dances, songs, and chants.
Master drummer Ernest Borketey, who began teaching on Kauai before he could speak any English, is planning to return in 2015 to make his home on the island. He will bring his sons Samuel and Emmanuel, ages 14 and 7, both born in Ghana. Ernest, who grew up in extreme poverty and wasn't able to go to school, is excited that his children will have the opportunity to learn to read and write, then to work and support themselves and contribute to their extended family and community.