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Midwest Mandeng 2014 happening in Urbana September 12-14

Midwest Mandeng Celebrates West African Drum and Dance September 12-14 in Urbana

Urbana, IL—Brace yourselves Central Illinois for the first ever Midwest Mandeng— Urbana’s first ever West African drum and dance festival happening this September 12-14 in the heart of downtown Urbana at the historic Urbana Landmark Hotel. The festival, which received seed funding from the Urbana Public Arts Program, will include drum and dance workshops, a demonstration geared towards kids, an African marketplace, an Afro-pop concert and an open dance party.

Visiting dance masters Youssouf Koumbassa and Djeneba Sako will join local talent and festival Creative Director, Djibril Camara, to teach a total of nine dance workshops which will include dances from Guinea and Mali. Drum masters include former Champaign-Urbana resident and Robert E. Brown Center for World Music affiliate Bolokada Conde, as well as Moussa Traore, Abbas Camara and Assane Seck. The nine drum workshops will include rhythms from Guinea, Mali and Senegal.

The drum and dance workshops will be open to people of all ages, sizes, experience, and fitness levels, with a few options geared specifically towards beginner and/or advanced students. Work exchange options are available for low-income people, and we have student rates available as well. Children under 13 who are accompanying a registered adult and senior citizens 65+ may participate for free.

In addition to the workshops, there will be a demonstration and Q&A on Friday, September 12th at 4:15 p.m. at the Urbana Free Library featuring some of our visiting artists. Then on Saturday, September 13th we will have a performance by local Afro-pop band, Super Mazumzum followed by a “dundunba party”, an open dance party with live West African drumming. The Super Mazumzum performance and “dundunba party” will take place at Black Rock Pizza in the Lincoln Square Mall. There will be a $5 cover charge for attendees who did not already purchase a festival pass. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

For more information about registration, the schedule and our many generous sponsors, please visit our website at

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