Akwaaba Drum Ensemble (audio) will host an African Drumming Workshop tomorrow from 10:30 to 11:15 at the 12th Annual Heritage Festival in downtown Newmarket. They will then perform from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. The ensemble has been drumming and dancing together for many years in Ghana and the United States. Theo Martey of the Akwaaba Drum Ensemble is a master of West African drumming and dance, a heritage that has many subtle variations in rhythmic patterns, dance styles and clothing, all specific to a wide variety of tribal groups from the region. Their performance is funded in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. For more information, contact Theo.
The Newmarket Heritage Festival honors the rich diversity of tradition, past and present, that defines this small New England mill town and the surrounding Seacoast region. Through the years, the traditional art forms of many cultures have been featured at the festival, including Polish, French, Irish, German, Laotian, African-American, Chinese, Indian, and traditional American cultures. The event has grown from a one-tent festival to a full weekend of multi-cultural music and dance performances, artisans at work, participatory workshops and demonstrations, hands-on children’s activities, a busy waterfront venue, fine arts and craft vendors, delicious food, and lots more.
Organized by a small group of volunteers who spend all year planning, the festival has gained a reputation for its eclectic mix of entertainment and activities, as well as for its friendly atmosphere. Enjoy this lively celebration, which takes place in the shadow of Newmarket’s historic mills, where so many once labored so hard–-and where a sense of community continues to thrive.
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