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African drummer will perform Oct. 10 as part of the Williams Center’s Sound Alternative series

Master drummer Obo Addy and his Okropong ensemble will perform 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10 as part of the Williams Center’s Sound Alternative series.
Tickets are free for Lafayette students, $6 for LVAIC schools students, $4 for faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

Other series performances are Sweet Honey in the Rock, Nov. 7, $ 25; Kronos Quartet, Nov. 19, $25; and An Irish Homecoming featuring Cherish the Ladies and Maura O’Connell, April 7, $20. Buy the four-event series package for the $75 subscription price and save 17 percent (available through Oct. 10).

In West Africa, master drummers enjoy the status and respect that other cultures extend to figures of high prominence, such as governors, priests, and healers. As keeper of musical lore from his native Ghana, Obo Addy is an extraordinary interpreter of African drumming traditions, and his charismatic performances with his Okropong ensemble pulse with the thrilling energy of drumming, dance, and song.

Honored in 1996 with a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, Addy has a 20-year presence on the international performance scene and is one of the key originators of the “World Beat” musical movement. He is known for his ability to celebrate past traditions while expanding to embrace new ideas and foreign influences.

Addy is also director of the performance and community outreach group, Homowo African Arts and Cultures, which holds free concerts and music workshops. While in Easton, the group will host the following events:

Campus Events, Thursday, Oct. 9

11 a.m. – Workshop with the world music class taught by Larry Stockton, professor and head of music
2:45 p.m. – Workshop with Stockton’s African music class
6 p.m. – Student drum circle with Marquis Scholars
Community Events

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2:30 p.m. – Residency program at Palmer Elementary School
Friday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. – Residency program at Forks Elementary School
Saturday, Oct. 11, morning – Special west ward presentation at Easton Area Elementary School (co-presented with the Landis Community Outreach Center and the West Ward Wachovia Project)
The 2008–2009 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, the J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts. Special thanks to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for extraordinary support of the 25th anniversary season, and to Joan Moran and the Amaranth Foundation for support of the Ravi Shankar commission.

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