AGORO: THE DOCUMENTARY

CONTEMPORARY

INTERCULTURAL
THEATER

AFRICAN

CULTURE, HISTORY,
EXPERIENCE 

arts & culture

DRUM, VOICE,
DANCE, EPHEMERA
 

EVENTS

CONCERTS | FESTIVALS | CLASSES

 
 

ABOUT AZAGUNO

MEET THE DIRECTORS

IMG_8672_edited.png
ZELMA BADU-YOUNGE
PASCHAL YAO YOUNGE

MEET THE ARTISTS

Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey is a Brooklyn based drummer & percussionist. Broadway credits include The Lion King, Ain’t Too Proud, and many others. Orchestral credits include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, etc. Music for dance groups AZAGUNO, Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, etc.

D98C828E-9467-413E-A96D-70AD987BF2CF - mike ramsey.png

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 20

Mike Ramsey is a Brooklyn based drummer & percussionist. Broadway credits include The Lion King, Ain’t Too Proud, and many others. Orchestral credits include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, etc. Music for dance groups AZAGUNO, Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, etc.

Fountain is the music director at Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is a graduate from West Virginia University. In 2006, he worked at Mannette Instruments in Morgantown, WV. Eric has been a member of Azaguno since 2002.

IMG_2483 - Eric Fountain.JPG

 

DANCER | MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 20
 

Fountain is the music director at Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is a graduate from West Virginia University. In 2006, he worked at Mannette Instruments in Morgantown, WV. Eric has been a member of Azaguno since 2002. For more info checkout www.osls.org.

Whitney Jacobs is a dance educator, choreographer and performer. She holds a BFA and a MFA in Dance, and her choreography has been presented at numerous venues throughout NYC/NJ. Jacobs is full time faculty at The Brearley School, NYC, and teaches dance and physical education grades K-12.

Whitney Jacobs - Whitney Jacobs.jpg

 

DANCER

Years with Azaguno: 18
 

Whitney Jacobs is a dance educator, choreographer and performer. She holds a BFA and a MFA in Dance, and her choreography has been presented at numerous venues throughout NYC/NJ. Jacobs is full time faculty at The Brearley School, NYC, and teaches dance and physical education grades K-12.

Keith Moone holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from West Virginia University and was mentored by Dr. Ellie Mannette. Mr. Moone is part owner of Seven City Steel Drums LLC, a company that specializes in Steel Pan(drum) manufacturing. Keith has been a member of Azaguno since 2005.

close-up - Keith Moone.jpg
Keith Moone

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 16
 

Keith Moone holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from West Virginia University and was mentored by Dr. Ellie Mannette. Mr. Moone is part owner of Seven City Steel Drums LLC, a company that specializes in Steel Pan(drum) manufacturing. Keith has been a member of Azaguno since 2005.

Brittany graduated from the Ohio University in 2011 with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology. Brittany earned her doctorate in physical therapy from Marshall University School of Physical Therapy in May, 2020. She currently practices at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, KY.

95607992_10218938236421214_7880950832777134080_n - Brittany Brunty.jpeg

 

DANCER

Years with Azaguno: 13

 

Brittany graduated from the Ohio University in 2011 with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology. Brittany earned her doctorate in physical therapy from Marshall University School of Physical Therapy in May, 2020. She currently practices at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, KY.

Dr. Kristofer Olsen is an Assistant Professor of Arts Education in the Department of Education at Montana State University. Originally from Havre, Montana, he received his BA in Music Ed. and Math Ed. from St. Olaf College, MM from West Virginia University and PhD from Ohio University.

kg20171003-olsen_kristofer - Kristofer Olsen.jpg

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 13

 

Dr. Kristofer Olsen is an Assistant Professor of Arts Education in the Department of Education at Montana State University. Originally from Havre, Montana, he received his BA in Music Ed. and Math Ed. from St. Olaf College, MM from West Virginia University and PhD from Ohio University.

Keith Moone holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from West Virginia University and was mentored by Dr. Ellie Mannette. Mr. Moone is part owner of Seven City Steel Drums LLC, a company that specializes in Steel Pan(drum) manufacturing. Keith has been a member of Azaguno since 2005.

11011548_10205822290690768_3926324836369629193_o.jpg

 

DANCER

Years with Azaguno: 12

 

Mia started dancing at Factory Street Studio in Athens, OH at a young age focusing on modern, ballet, jazz and CKC (Creative Kids Company) and has thus expanded her dance repertoire to include African dance. On top of dancing, Mia is a mom and wife and has been working in real estate for 16+ yrs.

Dr. Jennifer Petrie-Wyman is the Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. She focuses on global leadership, business and ethics, and development in Africa presenting and publishing nationally and internationally.

PetrieWyman_Headshot - Jennifer Petrie.jpg

 

DANCER

Years with Azaguno: 11
 

Dr. Jennifer Petrie-Wyman is the Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. She focuses on global leadership, business and ethics, and development in Africa presenting and publishing nationally and internationally.

John Meriwether is a percussionist living in Colorado and touring with Azaguno internationally.

A4C63199-66AD-46DF-8871-95ECEAA49E9B_1_105_c - John Meriwether.jpeg

John Meriwether is a percussionist living in Colorado and touring with Azaguno internationally.

John Meriwether

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 10
 

John Meriwether is a percussionist living in Colorado and touring with Azaguno internationally.

383E4B68-D67C-41C6-978B-597F662F8CEC - Michael Ofori.jpeg

Michael Ofori is an actor, director, musician and educator. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer Acting and Directing at Mount Holyoke College’s Film Media Theatre Department. In the Boston area, Michael spends his time acting, directing and playing music with his Afro-fusion band, Kotoko Brass.

Michael Ofori

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 10
 

Mustapha brings life-long passion with two decades of international experience and acclaim to his roles as artist and scholar. Born and raised in Ghana, he is Assistant Professor of Dance at Goucher College, Maryland. He holds an M.F.A. in Dance, an M.A. in African Studies, and a B.F.A. in Dance.

Headshot (2) (1) - Mustapha Braimah.jpg

Mustapha brings life-long passion with two decades of international experience and acclaim to his roles as artist and scholar. Born and raised in Ghana, he is Assistant Professor of Dance at Goucher College, Maryland. He holds an M.F.A. in Dance, an M.A. in African Studies, and a B.F.A. in Dance.

 

DANCER | MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 9
 

A dance educator, choreographer, and performer who envisions’ his work as a re-contextualization of traditions, with focus on dance theatre and contemporary Africa dance. Nii-Tete has choreographed and directed at both National and international levels. He holds a Diploma, BFA and M.F.A.

Tete - Nii-Tete Yartey.jpg
Nii-Tete Yartey

 

SPECIAL GUEST ARTIST 

Years with Azaguno: 7
 

A dance educator, choreographer, and performer who envisions’ his work as a re-contextualization of traditions, with focus on dance theatre and contemporary Africa dance. Nii-Tete has choreographed and directed at both National and international levels. He holds a Diploma, BFA and M.F.A.

Ryan is a classically trained percussionist and music educator with a passion for non-western music, with experience in traditions from Ghana, Uganda, and Japan, among others. He is currently based in Detroit, MI, sharing his love of music in private music lessons and with his middle schoolers.

IMG_2555 (1) - Ryan Swanson.jpg

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 7
 

Ryan is a classically trained percussionist and music educator with a passion for non-western music, with experience in traditions from Ghana, Uganda, and Japan, among others. He is currently based in Detroit, MI, sharing his love of music in private music lessons and with his middle schoolers.

Dr. Erik Forst is the Director of Percussion Studies at Messiah University, where he oversees all aspects of the Percussion Area. He has performed as a soloist extensively throughout the United Sates, Asia, and Africa. He is an artist for Vic Firth, Zildjian Cymbals, and Marimba One marimbas

erik1 - Erik Forst.jpg

 

MUSICIAN | PERCUSSIONIST

Years with Azaguno: 5
 

Dr. Erik Forst is the Director of Percussion Studies at Messiah University, where he oversees all aspects of the Percussion Area. He has performed as a soloist extensively throughout the United Sates, Asia, and Africa. He is an artist for Vic Firth, Zildjian Cymbals, and Marimba One marimbas

Gabriela Meriwether hails from Colorado and tours with Azaguno internationally.

DSC_9134_w - Gabriela Meriwether.JPG

Gabriela Meriwether can be seen performing in the pit orchestra at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse and playing with Sunday 5 Winds. Gabriela runs a private flute studio where she teaches beginners to advanced students of any age.

 

FLUTIST | MUSICIAN

Years with Azaguno: 3
 

John Meriwether is a percussionist living in Colorado and touring with Azaguno internationally.

IMG_1662.JPG

 

DANCER

Years with Azaguno: 3

 

Ishmael Konney is a performer and choreographer from Ghana. He is currently in his 2nd year at The Ohio State University pursuing a MFA in Dance. His multidisciplinary performances draw upon his training in theatre and music, and he describes his work as an abstraction of Ghanaian music and dance.

John Meriwether is a percussionist living in Colorado and touring with Azaguno internationally.

58372472_10215946098299631_7246336390789595136_n.jpg
Abubarkari Meirigah Salifu

Abubarkari Meirigah Salifu recently retired as a senior male dancer and musician of the Ghana Dance Ensemble (National Dance Company) after 30 years. He is a virtuoso on the Gonje (one-stringed fiddle) which he inherited from his royal family in the Northern region of Ghana.

 

DANCER | MUSICIAN | GONJE ARTIST

Years with Azaguno: 3

 

John Meriwether is a percussionist living in Colorado and touring with Azaguno internationally.

IMG_8647 2_edited.jpg

Julie Cruse performed with Azaguno as a dancer, musician and percussionist from 2003 to 2007, and as a guest artist in 2011. She now serves as digital content extraordinaire: website designer, social media advisor, and general "glitzer-upper" to support and represent Azaguno's mission.

 

DIRECTOR, DIGITAL CONTENT

 

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

PUBLICATIONS

 
Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 1_edited_edited_edited_edited.png
FORTHCOMING
Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 1_edited_edited_edited_edited.png
FORTHCOMING
Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 1_edited_edited_edited_edited.png
FORTHCOMING
Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 1_edited_edited_edited_edited.png
FORTHCOMING
Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 1_edited_edited_edited_edited.png
FORTHCOMING


I AM A GHANAIAN CULTURAL AMBASSADOR

A Manual for Traditional Drumming and Dance Groups of Ghana

PASCHAL YAO YOUNGE


TRADITIONAL AFRICAN MUSIC IS A TOTAL WORK OF ART

The Interdisciplinary
Musical Arts of Ghana


PASCHAL YAO YOUNGE


AFRICAN ARTS ARTICULATED THROUGH MOVEMENT



ZELMA BADU-YOUNGE


AUGUSTINE KWASIGA YOUNGE

The Pioneer in Revitalization and Africanization of the Catholic Liturgy and
Mass in Ghana


PASCHAL YAO YOUNGE


CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IN DANCE

Cultural Sharing and
Ownership Through the Eyes
of a Contemporary African Dancer‐Choreographer



ZELMA BADU-YOUNGE

"IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE JUST TO SIT THERE,"...
"YOU HAVE TO GET UP AND MOVE."

ROB THOMAS, DAILY EGYPTIAN