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Contact: Marilynn Fryer
(517) 796-8466
March 29, 2010
For immediate release

The beat goes on: African Drum, Jazz Ensembles present Highlife II

Jackson Community College’s African Drum Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble will welcome guest artist Titos Sompa, world famous African dancer and drummer from the Republic of Congo, to perform in a special concert entitled “Highlife II,” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 15 in the Michael Baughman Theater, Potter Center.

“Highlife” is the Afro-pop music of Ghana and other regions of West Africa. In this concert, the JCC African Drum Ensemble will perform several traditional dance pieces accompanied by Sompa, artist in residence this semester at JCC, and even perform one dance. The Jazz Ensemble will perform several jazz selections, and the two ensembles will combine to perform Highlife music, again accompanied by the exciting dance of Sompa. Both ensembles are directed by Associate Professor Ronald L. Douglass.

Titos Sompa is a renowned dancer, choreographer and musician, noted especially as a master Congolese drummer, percussionist and kalimba player. He utilizes his multiple talents to make known and keep alive Congolese musical and cultural traditions. He founded the first Congolese dance company in America, Tanawa Dance Company, and in 1988 founded the Mbongi Dance Theatre Project, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing and celebrating the cultural arts of Africa, especially music and dance of the Congo.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind musical and dance experience! Tickets are just $5 and may be purchased from the Potter Center Ticket Office, 517.796.8600, or at the door.