Kekeli workshop at the University of the Philippines.



Drumming at Penteng Village.



Processional with children at Malate Plaza, Manila, Philippines.





Dancing Gahu at Abelardo Hall, University of the Philippines.

Workshop for young people in the Philippines.



Libation ceremony with our Ghanaian colleagues at the University of the Philippines.

To view videos of kekeli drum and dance please go to royal hartigan's youtube channel.

Summer 2008

In order to add to our UMass Dartmouth Kekeli repertoire, we practiced traditional African dance, drumming, and songs from the peoples of Ghana, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, and Burkina Faso, including Adzohu Kadodo and Ago, Togo Atsia, Atsiagbeko Vublewu, Atamga, Vutsotsoe, and Adzokpa, and Nandom Bawa.

On 6 July Kekeli performed at a Unitarian church in Fairhaven, MA. On 9 July the group performed with jazz musicians in an African-jazz ensemble at Ryles performance space in Cambridge, MA. In August we played at a Nigerian cultural festival in Providence, RI. Among the California Bay Area Kekeli ensemble activities was an August workshop/ performance at DeAnza College, in Cupertino, CA.

Fall 2008

During fall 2008 The UMass Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble performed at numerous events for our campus community and the southeastern Massachusetts community. These included a U. S. Peace Corps benefit for a Mauritanian agricultural project and the Westport Winery, Westport, Massachusetts, (MA), on 13 September, a student memorial at Marion, MA, beach on 14 September, an Israeli Sukkah festivity for the UMass Dartmouth (UMD) Hillel organization on the campus quadrangle on 16 October, a UMD Bioneer activity in support of a conference on sustainability outside the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, MA, on 23 October, the UMD Discovery Day at the CVPA building on 14 November, an international evening of music at the Brooklyn Coffee and teahouse in Providence, RI, on the evening of 14 November, and the fall Kekeli African music and dance concert for the campus and southeastern Massachusetts community in the UMD main auditorium on 9 December.

Early 2009

The UMass Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble began its activities for 2009 by going on a research field trip to Mampong village in the Asante region of Ghana, West Africa, during January. We learned many dances, songs, and instrumental pieces to share with the UMD community during the 2009 year and onward. One of our main activities was the royal court music of the Asante people known as Kete. This trip was made possible through the UMD Student Senate funding for our club. The ensemble was honored to perform at local events in the Mampong area, including funerals and other important ceremonies.

Winter/Spring 2009

We focused on the Eve recreational music Togo Atsia, the Dagara harvest music Nandom Bawa, and the Eve warrior dance music Atsiagbeko, as well as the Kete dance drumming we had learned in our January field trip to Ghana. This ensemble performed at numerous events for our campus community, including: a Night of Percussion at Somerset MA, High School on 27 February, the UMD CVPA Open House on 3 April, a Church Youth Group workshop at UMass Dartmouth on 5 April, UMD music major student recitals on 7 and 26 April, outreach at a Dartmouth, MA, High School night of World Music on 16 April, a New Bedford, MA, Public schools Youth Summit on 17 April, the UMD outdoor sculpture opening outside the CVPA building on 23 April, a day of African music and dance at Bridgewater, MA, State University on 27April to benefit the Darfur victims in the Sudan, the UMD graduation ceremonies outside near the amphitheater and at the CVPA building on 23 and 24 May, as well as our spring concert in New Bedford as part of the outdoor AHA! New Bedford, MA, arts and culture celebration on 14 May.

Summer 2009

The University of the Philippines Kekeli African music and dance ensemble presented concerts and workshops during August at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, on 13 August, the Ten-02 performance space, Quezon City, 19 August, the Penguin Gallery, Makati, 21 August, and the University of the Philippines, Quezon City, 24 August.

Fall 2009

The UMass Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble performed for many occasions in the southeastern Massachusetts community during fall 2009. These included a Diversity Day in Plymouth, MA on 13 September whose theme was ‘No Place for Hate’ in response to racism, homophobia, sexism, and ageism; workshops in African music and dance with master artist Kwabena Boateng for the UMD Spotlight program for high school youth on 17 September, 15, 22, and 29 October and 5 November in CVPA 104; a Hillel Sukkah celebration at the UMD quadrangle on 5 October; a Music Department/ CVPA Thursday Recital Series concert on 15 October, the Africa HIV/Aids awareness benefit concert in the UMD main auditorium on 17 October, a student memorial at Marion, MA, beach on 25 October; an Art Education national conference on 14 November in the CVPA, the fall 2009 Kekeli concert for the campus and southeastern Massachusetts community in the UMD main auditorium on 8 December, and guest artists at the Brown University (RI) fall concert of African music and dance at Brown’s Orwig Hall on 9 December. At our December UMD concert, we had CD sales from a spring 2009 Bridgewater State concert for the benefit of the Darfur, Sudan, holocaust victims. Proceeds were sent to the Save Darfur Coalition.

Winter/Spring 2010

In the winter and spring of 2010 the UMass Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble performed at a benefit honoring the people of Haiti, and to help the Haiti earthquake victims, L’Inyon Fe la Fos, at the UMD main auditorium on 28 January, a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at the UMD main auditorium on 13 February, a performance as part of my Chancellor’s colloquium presentation at Woodland Commons on 2 March, a workshop at Our Sister’s School in new Bedford, MA, on 3 March, a benefit for Cameroon women at the United Methodist of Westport, MA, on 5 March, A UMD Haitian Student Organization One World Festival at the UMD Main Auditorium on 3 April, an African Students festival at the UMD Main Auditorium on 10 April, a New Bedford, MA, Public Schools Youth Summit at White’s of Westport (MA), including workshops and a performance, on 16 April, a senor student recital on 25 April in the CVPA Recital Hall, and our concert as part of the AHA! New Bedford festival at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, MA, on 13 May. Kekeli also performed at the UMD graduation at the campus quadrangle on 22 and 23 May.

The California Bay Area Kekeli ensemble did a performance at San Jose State University on 17 March and a workshop/performance at DeAnza College, Cupertino, CA, 19 March.

We had a student/faculty/community field trip to Mampong Town, Asante region, Ghana, West Africa, May 26 – June 15 for study of traditional music, dance, and culture with the Ghanaian people, led by master artist and UMD faculty member Kwabena Boateng. Both UMass Dartmouth and University of Philippines Kekeli members took part in this trip, the first joint venture between our U. S. and international groups, the beginning of an ongoing project to connect musical communities in Ghana, the Philippines, and the U. S.

Summer 2010

The University of the Philippines (UP) Kekeli ensemble expanded its activities, open rehearsals, classes, lecture-demonstrations, workshops, and concerts of traditional and cross-cultural music. Among our presentations were performances at the UP Collegio ng Musika ceremonies on 6 August, initiating our new Ghanaian instruments with pouring of libation at the UP Collegio ng Musika on 14 August, afternoon workshop and concert at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, on 19 August, an evening concert at the Penguin Gallery, Makati, on 19 August, a workshop and concert at the University of the Philippines on 20 August, and a workshop and cross-cultural concert with the Diwa Jazz ensemble of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ Suite at the Ayala Museum, Malate, Manila, on 26 August.

Fall 2010

During fall 2010 The UMass Dartmouth (UMD) Kekeli ensemble performed at numerous events for our campus community and the southeastern Massachusetts community. The ensemble served as the core with master artist Kwabena Boateng for the UMD Spotlight program for area high school students. We performed and did a workshop in the UMD main auditorium on 9 September, and small class segments on 23, 30 September and 7 October. We practiced Asante Kete, Togo Atsia, Atsiagbeko Vublewu, Atamga, Vutsoetsoe, and Adzokpa, and Nandom Bawa, Nagla, Kpanlogo, and Asaadua.

Other performances included a UMD Library dedication on 7 September, a Frederick Douglass Unity House Open House on 15 September, a UMD Peace Pole Planting on 21 September, a United States Park Service National Historical Park Communities of Whaling Exhibit ceremony in downtown New Bedford on 24 September, a benefit concert for Haiti earthquake victims, L’Inyon Fe la Fos, Part 2, in the UMD main auditorium on 28 September, a concert at Bascom Lodge on Mount Greylock, in Adams, MA, on 20 October, a UMD Women’s Resource Center Take Back the Night procession on Ring Road and candlelight ceremonies, at the Carney Library on 28 October, performances at the Residential Cafeteria on 9, 16, and 23 November and commuter cafeteria on 10, 17, and 24 November, a performance for a CVPA Art Opening for faculty colleague Stacey Latt-Savage in the CVPA Atrium, 9 December, and the fall Kekeli African music and dance concert for the campus and southeastern Massachusetts community in the UMD main auditorium on 11 December. This fall concert was a benefit for our student study trip to Ghana, West Africa, in June 2011 and for the victims of genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

Spring 2011

Kekeli performed for a Chinese lunar new year festival at the UMD main auditorium on 5 February, the Music Department Performance Workshop in CVPA 104 on 24 February, a music major’s senior recital in the CVPA Recital Hall on 29 March, a Cape Verdean Celebration on 2 April in Woodland Commons, a people of African Descent Festival in the UMD Main Auditorium on 9 April, informal performances in the UMD Residential and Commuter Cafeterias on 12, 13, 19, 20, and 26 April, and our Spring Concert in the UMD Main Auditorium on 3 May, a benefit for our Ghana student study trip in June, and for the Darfur, Sudan victims of genocide. We also performed for the UMD Commencement ceremonies on 21 and 22 May at the UMD amphitheater area. Our repertoire included Kpanlogo, Bawa, Asante Kete, Asaadua, Kundum, and atenteben flute music, among others.

The San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area Kekeli ensemble presented a workshop in instrumental and vocal music and dance at DeAnza College in Cupertino, California on 4 March.

Fall 2011

The UMass Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble performed at a Take Back the Night women’s awareness march and candlelight vigil on 6 October, an evening of world music at Mout Greylock in Adams, MA, on 19 October, participated in workshops with Kwabena Boateng for New Bedford high school students at UMass Dartmouth and a senior student recital in November, as well as our fall concert in the UMD Main Auditorium on 13 December. This was a benefit for our Ghana student study trip in June 2012, and for the Darfur, Sudan victims of genocide. Our repertoire included Asante Adowa, Sikyi, Kpanlogo, an Ibo-Yoruba processional from Nigeria, Nagla and Damba.

Winter/Spring 2012

I went to Mampong town, in Ghana during January 2012 to learn pieces for the Kekeli group. The study included Asante Kete, Adowa, Akom, and Tigari. Kwabena Boateng and Yaw Daniel Okyere directed my research and we did a number of music and culture videos to enhance our understanding of these powerful traditions.

Our spring activities include numerous performances on campus, the southeastern Massachusetts community, and other venues in New England. Our repertoire included Asante Kete, Adowa, Akom, Sikyi, Tigari, Ibo-Yoruba processional, and Kpanlogo.

The Philippines Kekeli ensemble performed for a day of world music at the University of the Philippines Diliman in February. They continue to rehearse and perform in they greater Manila area.

Our June 2012 study trip to Mampong Asante, Ghana, was directed by Kwabena Boateng and included our master artist teachers Attah Poku and Kofi Boame. We witnessed and performed in many cultural activities in villages in the Asante region.

FALL 2012

The UMASS Dartmouth Kekeli group performed at numerous events in New England, including a Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust Family Day at the Slocum River Reserve in Dartmouth, MA, on 15 September, a UMD Spotlight series for area high school youth in the UMD main auditorium on 13 September, and in CVPA 104 on 4, 11, and 18 September, a UMD counselor’s memorial tree planting ceremony on 25 September in the outdoor area near the Counseling Center; a Bascom Lodge Arts Series at Mount Greylock, Adams, MA, on 17 October; a UMD/CVPA Open House in the CVPA recital hall on 20 October; an open rehearsal in CVPA 104 on 23 October; and rehearsal and memorial concert for deceased UMD faculty member Rick Britto in the CVPA recital hall on 25 October; and our fall concert in the UMD main auditorium 6 December, also dedicated to Mr. Britto (see flyer and program). For this concert we included a community member named Jonathan who is handicapped and in a wheelchair in our Sanga processional from the back of the auditorium to the stage and he and the audience were very moved by the experience. His attendant wheeled him in our group and he played a rattle as a member of our Kekeli ensemble. The fall concert was a benefit for our UMD Ghana trip and the victims of genocide in Darfur, the Sudan.

Spring 2013

The Massachusetts Kekeli African Music and Dance ensemble rehearsed at UMASS Dartmouth from 3:45-5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in CVPA room 104 or an adjacent hallway. We performed for a Frederick Douglass Unity House (FDUH) art gallery reception 31 January, a FDUH honoring of retired faculty member and poet laureate Everett Hoagland on 6 February, student recitals in the CVPA recital hall on 10, 14, and 29 March, 13 April, and a campus Freedom March on 28 February, the new UMD Chancellor Divina Grossman’s Inauguration week festivities on 2 and 4 April and her Multicultural Concert on 4 April, a concert at the UMD Star Store street plaza on Purchase Street in New Bedford as part of the AHA! New Bedford festival on 11 April, a UMD chorus concert on 25 April, our spring concert in the UMD auditorium on 30 April, as well as the UMD commencement ceremonies on 11 and 12 May. The spring concert was a student benefit for our UMD trip to Ghana and for the victims of genocide in Darfur, the Sudan.

We did a summer solstice concert at the Bascom Lodge Performance Space at Mount Greylock, in Adams, Massachusetts on 23 June. We practiced Asante Adowa, Akom, Sikyi and Sanga, Eve and Fon Adzohu, and Ga Kpanlogo, Dagara Nagla, among other pieces.

Fall 2013

The University of the Philippines Kekeli ensemble performed at a workshop led by royal hartigan and his blood drum spirit jazz ensemble in the World Music Museum at the Collegio ng Musika on the University of the Philippines campus on the morning of 11 September. This was part of the outreach activities for the 2nd Philippines Jazz Festival. We involved the attendees and presented the recreational music of the Eve people of West Africa known as Gahu.

We rehearsed later that day 4-6:30 pm in the Museum in preparation for the Jazz Festival, and worked on Asaadua of the Asante people, Bawa of the Dagara people, Kpanlogo of the Ga people, and Gahu, Tokwe, and Agbeko of the Eve people. Our ensemble rehearsed with blood drum spirit on 12 September at the University of Santo Tomas, and presented a workshop with them there on 13 September. We performed Gahu as well as African American music and dance, including work songs, spirituals, clapping plays, pattin’ juba and ring shouts. We also assisted with Afro Cuban Rumba and Son Clave presentations for the workshop.

Our Kekeli ensemble rehearsed with blood drum spirit at the University of Santo Tomas on 14 September, in preparation for the Jazz Festival. We continued our rehearsals and presentations at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with workshops on 17, 18, and 20 September, and performed in an evening concert with blood drum spirit on 20 September. The concert’s theme was African Jazz, and included the Asaadua processional music of the Asante people, Bawa harvest music of the Dagara people, Agbeko warrior music of the Eve people, atenteben flute music, and Kpanlogo social music of the Ga people.

The UMass Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble continues to rehearse at the College of Visual and Performing Arts Music Department, mostly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some weekends. Selected performances included a rehearsal and performance for a Harvest Festival in South Dartmouth, MA on 7 September, a Peace Day Ceremony at UMass Dartmouth on 21 September, the Spotlight High School workshops in September and October, an afternoon memorial in Bristol, RI on 6 October, an art gallery opening in Westport, Massachusetts, on 20 October, and our fall concert at the UMass Dartmouth main auditorium on 20 November. We are working on Togo Atsia, Gahu, and Tokwe of the Eve people, Nagla of the Dagara people, and Kete and Sikyi of the Asante people. Kwabena Boateng is our faculty professor, and Kobena Adzenyah and Saeed Abbas are among our guest artists for performances.

Spring 2014

Our University of the Philippines Kekeli ensemble continues to rehearse and perform at the University of the Philippines and in the greater Manila Metro region. We hope to find support for a study trip to Ghana, West Africa, in spring/summer 2014 to join the UMASS Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble there.

Our UMASS Dartmouth Kekeli ensemble plans to go to Ghana, West Africa, in spring/ summer 2014 to learn traditional African music and dance with master artist Kwabena Boateng in Mampong Asante, Ghana.

Many activities are continuing for the California, Philippines, and Massachusetts Kekeli ensembles, including our June 2014 study trip to Mampong Asante, Ghana, directed by Kwabena Boateng.

For more information on Kekeli African music and dance, or to join our trip to Ghana in June 2014, contact royal hartigan at royaljhartigan@yahoo.com.