We had a great weekend working with the amazing drummer and dancer Nani Agbeli who joined us in Ottawa, travelling from his full-time position as Director of West African Arts at the California Institute for the Arts. He worked with a group of 30 adults at our monthly Friday night class, connecting the five parts of Gahu, his excellent teaching making it possible to connect so many people and syncopations.
On Saturday we held a Beat Retreat for our Youth Performers, a four-hour immersion into the music of Tokwoe and Gahu. Technique, style, arrangements were all worked on, however the main focus and success was getting these teens and pre-teens to work on their onstage presence and energy ! Not easy but worth it! Nani made sure to compliment those working hard and told one of our youth he would pay $1000 to see him perform, he was grooving so well. We finished with a dinner from Ghana House Cuisine, a local favourite. Akbesia, Nani, see you back here next season for a big show!