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Azungo marks own beat

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Azaguno, a colorful and vibrant multi-ethnic ensemble, will perform African Dance and Drumming in a free performance at Ohio University Southern at 7 p.m. today, Thursday, March 14.

The concert will be in the Mains Rotunda at OUS, 1804 Liberty Ave., Ironton.

Azungo focuses on research, preservation, education and performance of traditional African music and dance, African American music and dance and other styles from the Caribbean and Latin America, according to a news release from OUS. "The ensemble also creates contemporary intercultural works in new theatrical contexts that fuse the artistic and aesthetic cultural values and resources representative of African experiences in world history.

"Through the drum, the voice, the dance and other visual art forms and paraphernalia, Azaguno brings to the stage a unique African theatrical experience," according to the release.

Azaguno -- which means "a master drummer" among the Ewe people of Ghana in West Africa -- was founded in 2001.

The group is made up of 15 musicians and dancers including 10 apprentices.

The group is co-founded and directed by Dr. Paschal Yao Younge, a native of Ghana who is currently an associate professor of Multicultural Music Education at Ohio University with Dr. Zelma Badu-Younge as dance director and choreographer. Dr. Zelma Badu-Younge is also an associate professor of African Dance and Jazz at Ohio University.

Members have trained and researched extensively in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Togo in Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the United States.

For more information about the performance, call Robert Pleasant at 740-533-4600.

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