We are proud to announce that HFH was a Media Sponsor for the Sankusem 'West Coast' Festival:


Press  Release


Professional drummers and dancers will lead workshops and demonstrations at the African Music and Dance Festival in Leavenworth.


Rachel Barton Pine, Violinist


George Francois, Sankusem Director

If you go

What: The African Music and Dance Festival 2010

When: Sunday through Thursday Where: Icicle Creek Music Center, 7409 Icicle Road, Leavenworth

Cost: Prices vary from single-concert tickets ($10-$30), half- and full-day passes ($20 and $40), up to five-day packages ($400) that includes tuition, board and lodging. College credits through Seattle Pacific University are also available.

General info: 548-6347

Festival schedule: icicle.org

Ticket info: 1-800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com


Revel of rhythm

African Music and Dance Festival features top scholars, musicians

Thursday, June 10, 2010

LEAVENWORTH — Admit it. Whenever you hear that African beat, you can’t help but move your feet. It’s a primal force. It’s got you hooked. It touches your soul.

You’re in luck. The first-ever African Music and Dance Festival, a five-day revel of rhythm featuring some of the world’s top African-music scholars and musicians, is coming to this Bavarian-themed town. Expect less oom-pah and more drumming.

The festival runs Sunday through Thursday at the Icicle Creek Music Center and is co-sponsored by Sankusem, a nonprofit West African group promoting folk and tribal music and dance. The event will feature lectures, seminars, workshops, films, concerts and drum and dance demonstrations.

“The festival is open to anyone and everyone who’s moved by the music,” said music center spokeswoman Rachal Karnofski. “Yes, we’ve got top scholars and musicians, but everyone — regardless of their experience and skill level — is encouraged to participate. We want people who want to have fun.”

That list of top scholars includes Kwabena Nketia, a composer and ethnomusicologist who’s regarded, said Karnofski, as a world authority on African music. Nketia, director of the International Center of African Music and Dance at the University of Ghana, will lead discussions, introduce musicians and have some of his own compositions performed.

Musicians include Portland-based Obo Addy and his Okropong Drum and Dance Ensemble, and American violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who’ll play and discuss African music written for classical instruments. She’ll also perform a special concert of works by Brahms during the week.

Other festival faculty members are musicologist and theorist Kofi Agawu, Sankusem director George Francois, composer-pianist Amy Rubin and members of the Icicle Creek Piano Trio — violinist Jennifer Caine, pianist Oksana Ezhokina and cellist Sally Singer.

But how did African music make its way to a Bavarian village?

Easy. Sankusem director Francois and Icicle Creek’s artistic director Singer have known each other and worked together for years, said Karnofski. When Francois began thinking about organizing an African music festival, Singer thought Icicle Creek would make an interesting venue.

Mike Irwin: 665-1179


Press  Release 



NIA Theatrical Productions & Sankusem Foundation present violinist Rachel Barton Pine, cellist Sally Singer and pianist George Francois in The Music of J. H. Kwabena Nketia
Friday June 26th, 2009  from 8pm – 10 pm at Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues) Harlem, NY, 10029.


J. H. Kwabena Nketia has achieved international fame as a musicologist, educator, author and composer. He uses African idioms such as scales, harmonic vocabulary, rhythms, folk tunes and games used by various tribal groups as source material for his contemporary music, thus creating a unique synthesis of Western and African ideas. Internationally renowned musicians American violinist Rachel Barton Pine, English cellist Sally Singer, and Ghanaian pianist George Francois collaborate in a presentation of Nketia’s violin, cello, and piano music. They will perform the piano trio in B major opus 8 by Johannes Brahms in the second half.

Cost:  Adults $25, Seniors (over 65) $15, Children (under 18) $10, Student ID $20

Tickets can be purchased on line at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/361041886

Or between the hours of 1-7 on weekdays at:

NIA Theatrical Production Company Inc.

138 South Oxford Street, Suite 4A

Brooklyn, NY 11217

Tel 718-346-6591

Fax 718-346-6592