Residency with Okyerema Asante

Jazz Transnationalism and Intercultural Intersections Between Africans and African Americans

(A Two-Week Residency with Okyerema Asante)

Drums in the Granoff Music Center

In the early 1970s, Okyerema Asante toured the US with the legendary South African trumpeter, Hugh Masekela, as a founding member of the Ghanaian group, Hedzoleh Soundz. Okyerema continued to perform with Masekela until the latter’s passing in 2018. Okyerema has performed and recorded with jazz luminaries including James Moody, Roy Ayers, Pharoah Sanders, Oliver Lake, Lonnie Linston Smith, Jacky McLean, René Mclean, Jack DeJonette, Benito Gonzalez, David Murray, and jazz groups such as the Crusaders, and the World Saxophone Quartet. Okyerema completed three world tours with Paul Simon and the Graceland project, and four world tours with the rock group, Fleetwood Mac. He has performed with the Jamaican reggae group, The Third World, and many others.

As a Ghanaian percussionist, Okyerema transformed and expanded his Akan Atumpan and Fontomfrom drums to include Cuban congas, Asian cymbals, and other percussion instruments from South America, and by doing so made it possible to combine his battery of drums and percussion instruments with diverse musical styles on the international stage. He continues to use his performance skills to cross national, geographic, and genre boundaries to perform with jazz, rock & roll, and reggae artists beyond racialized categories.

Okyerema Asante

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 10, 2023
Class Visit: Music of Africa, Professor Kwasi Ampene
Varis Lecture Hall, Granoff Music Center

Class Visit: History of Jazz, Professor Michael Ullman
Varis Lecture Hall, Granoff Music Center

Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Class Visit: Percussive Dance, Professor Samantha Jones
Jackson Hall Dance Lab

Rehearsal visit: Tufts Jazz Orchestra, Director Joel Smith
Fisher Performance Room

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Class Visit: Afro-Haitian: From Roots to Stage, Professor Jenny Oliver with guest Joh Camara
Jackson Hall Dance Lab

Friday, April 21, 2023
Round Table Discussion
Featuring guest Michael Veal (Yale University), Ingrid Monson (Harvard University), Maya Cunningham (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and Stephan Pennington (Tufts University)
Varis Lecture Hall, Granoff Music Center
*Open to the public. Free; no tickets required

Concert: Kiniwe with special guest Okyerema Asante
Distler Performance Hall, Granoff Music Center
*Open to the public. Free; no tickets required

Saturday, April 22, 2023
Concert: Tufts Jazz Orchestra with special guest Okyerema Asante
Goddard Chapel, 3 The Green, Medford
*Open to the public. Free; no tickets required