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Tufts University

Regular Full and Part Time Faculty, Ensemble Directors

Emmanuel Attah Poku
Lecturer of Music (African Music and Dance)

Emmanuel Attah Poku is a prominent master drummer from the Ashanti Region of Ghana, West Africa. Born and raised inside the walls of the Ashanti King's palace, Attah began training with his grandfather when he was only five years old, and officially joined the Ashanti King's drum ensemble when he was ten. Performing as lead drummer for the Kumasi Centre for National Culture, the Ashanti King's Fontomfrom ensemble, and the renowned Nsuase Kete group, Attah has toured Africa extensively, playing in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Togo, and Benin. Attah is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he directs the Kiniwe African Music and Dance Ensemble at Tufts University and is the Artistic Director of the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society, founded by Professor David Locke (Music Department, Tufts University.

In Ghana, Attah has instructed youth drumming groups throughout the Ashanti Region, and has taught workshops on Ghanaian percussion at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi, Ghana), the University of Education (Winneba, Ghana), and the Yaa Asantewaa Senior High School (Kumasi, Ghana). Additionally, he has taught visiting professors and students from Berklee College of Music, Hartt School of Music, UMASS Dartmouth, University of Michigan, West Virginia University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Alabama. Attah Poku has performed for internationally renowned figures such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prince Charles of Wales, movie star Steven Seagal, heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, and presidents of many African nations including Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia.


Nina Barwell

Department of Music
Granoff Music Center
20 Talbot Avenue
Medford, MA 02155