Cape Cod African Dance & Drum is an ensemble of dancers and drummers who perform traditional West African and Afro-Caribbean dance and drumming. This troupe includes master African drummers, as well as a diverse group of professional American artists with a rich variety of dance and music backgrounds. The ensemble performs at concerts, school assemblies, festivals, parties, weddings and more. CCADD presents the rich tradition of West African music and dance, then allows the audience to participate actively. Their performances are full of spirit and fun for all ages. CCADD performs to uplift the hearts of their audiences, playing for the joy and healing inherent in the African tradition.
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Tara Murphy, principal dancer and director of Cape Cod African Dance & Drum, is originally from Washington, D.C. Tara grew up studying ballet and theater. She earned her B.A. in theater and religious studies at Yale University, where she also began studying African dance. At this time Tara began exploring her African heritage through African studies at Yale, and was awarded a fellowship to study traditional dance and drumming at the University of Legon in Ghana, West Africa. Since returning to the U.S., for the past 20 years, she has studied closely with many African and Afro-Caribbean artists in Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston. Her primary mentors have been Issa Coulibaly and Joh Camara of Mali; Mohamed Kalifa Kamara of Guinea; Fatou N’Diaye and Astou Sagna of Senegal; and Jean Appolon of Haiti. In addition to African dance, Tara has also practiced yoga andmeditation since she was a child. Tara recognizes the practice of African dance and drumming as a tremendous force for healing, meditation, empowerment and community. It is her greatest honor to spread the inspiration of this ancient tradition.
Issa Coulibaly, master African drummer and music director of Cape Cod African Dance & Drum, began studying the djembe and dun dun when he was 11 in his home city of Bamako, Mali. As his skill and reputation as a multi-instumental player, vocalist and arranger grew, Issa toured Africa and Europe extensively before emigrating to America. He continues to travel widely to facilitate retreats and perform as the lead drummer and music director for a variety of African Dance and Drum troupes.
Cape Cod African Dance & Drum, including dancer Tara Murphy and master African drummer Issa Coulibaly, offer exciting performances for concerts, parties and festivals, as well as educational programs for school assemblies and family events. With highly favorable reviews, they have been presenting performances, assemblies and workshops regularly throughout Cape Cod and the New England area. By watching and participating, audiences have a rich and dynamic experience of the West African cultural tradition. They take something very special with them: African dance, rhythm and song!
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