Alasane Da Camara
Madinga Danse Instructor
Alsane was born and raised in Guinea West Africa. He grew up in a griot familay mainly surounded by dancers and chanters. He is one of the most versatile and well known West African Madinga dance instroctor in the Bay Area. You will be very stisfy with his class.
DJO BI IRIE SIMON
Topalon and Zaouli Instructor
“Dr.”Djo Bi is a master hand drummer from the village of Bangofla, Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa, where music permeates daily life. He comes from a musical family and a drum in his hands since he was a toddler.
By the time he was a teenager, he began his professional career. It was then that he was christened “The Doctor” because he had a mature, prodigal knowledge of his craft.
He lived in Paris for a dozen years and from there, and became involved with the African Museum in Brussels, Belgium, as part of a research group in his native village learning about mask dance culture.
In 1997, Bi moved to New York City where he lived for 10 years and founded Bangofla Music Ensemble. Dr. Djo Bi has worked with students of all ages, from preschoolers to senior citizens. He has taught in public and private school settings, museums, drum and dance schools/camps, workshops and special events. When he comes to teach for us, his classes are very fun.
Zaouli Dance Instructor
Atito Gohi is ethnically Gouro, from the valley near the Bandama river in the Ivory Coast. He currently serves as master dancer and choreographer of the Las Vegas based Vozolo Dance and Drum Company that he co-founded over 25 years ago.
Vozolo's mission is to share the diverse traditional African dances, rhythms, spirituality and culture from Ivory Coast. The Company immerses audiences in the beauty and healing nature of African traditions and to provide an experience where everyone can share the love of West African culture.
Earlier, he danced for the National Ballet Ivory Coast which was, but is no longer a dance company that recruited dancers of each ethnic group to represent the cultures customs, tradition, and musical talents through country.
Gbe Gbe Dance Instructor
Master drummer and dancer Mailly Tagba, the leader of Gbozé, was born in the Ivory Coast of Africa in Guimeyo Soubre and his first language is Bete. He has been dancing and drumming since he was a young boy, learning from his uncle Abel Guié, who is also in Gbozé. His grandmother Gagnie Elise taught him to sing and dance.
At age 17, he went to Abidjan and enrolled in the Djolem drum and dance school and by age 21 became the leader of the drummers. In 1998 he became a Directoire Artistique in the Ivory Coast, directing two groups: Talehi and Gbozé.
Mailly travelled around Africa and to Europe, Asia, and the United States. In 2001 he was invited to the African marketplace in Los Angeles and performed with the UniverSoul Circus Circus Hermanos Vasquez for three years.
Moving to Reno, NV, he shares this talent at the River School weekly.
He put together a talented group of master drummers and dancers from Africa and presented "Senin" in 2009. he energy they shared is a vital part of the African lifestyle.
Mailly affiliation with AA is…..
ERIC BLI BI
Eric Bli Bi Gore is from the Ivory Coast village of Guezanufla. He has toured the world in a wide range of venues from the Camp Maitres Tambour Afric, Camp Africa Florida, the Nondi Wontanara Multi-Cultural Performing Arts Company to Fatten Assemble, New Orlean Jazz Festival and Cirque Zuma Zuma. He has taught at he Baobab Stage in Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Community Dance Project as well as the West Las Vegas Arts Center Presents: and the Diamond Coura West African Dance Company Conference in Oakland, CA.
His diverse credits also include Diamante Kotchegna Dance Company, Seguenon Kone Ivoire Spectacle, Fatten Ensemble, Disneyland World Anima Kingdom and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
His many awards include Le Prix de la Meilleure Troupe and the Le Prix de Festival National de la Creativity)
Recently, Eric Ali Bi has been working with African Arts Academy as drum instructor and performer for the Legend of Zaouli in San Francisco CA.
Leye Felicite Martin "Fely Tchaco"
Dance and Rhythm Instructor
Leye Martin, also known as Fely Tchaco, is a San Francisco-based Ivorian-American artist, singer-songwriter. She was born in the Ivory Coast city of Yamoussoukro. Leye moved to San Francisco in 1999 and pursue her education and music career.
Fely founded the African Arts Academy, dedicated to African arts and crafts and the exhibition of traditional African performing arts, such as music, ethnic fashion, dance, and percussion. Her primary objective is to increase the knowledge and awareness of San Francisco-based individuals of African descent.
Fely has resided, worked, and actively participated in the African American communities of Bayview, Hunters Point, and Fillmore for over 25 years. She is one of the founders currently a member of the board of directors of San Francisco's African American Art and Cultural District as well as the San Francisco-Abidjan Sister Cities Relations Committee.
In the past she taught African drums and percussion to pupils aged 6 to 12 at the Thurgood Marshall as well as at the First Baptist Church summer after school programs in the Bayview as well as dance classes at the African American Arts and Culture Complex in the Fillmore.
Dance and Drum Instructor
Fanzy Monguehy, is an Ivorian artist, dancer, actor, choreographer, and comedian working in New York. One of the most representative artists in modern African dance, Fanzy teaches children of all ages.
His style draws from Debbie Allen, Monique Delgado, and Brigitte Motenz among others and he is a graduate of L’ina (Institu National des Arts). Monguehy is the founder of the “Kaoka Cultural – Arts Connection, African Zulu Force
Fanzy has been in several films including, “Tears of the Sun”, “Amistad”, “Little Senegal”, “Les New Yorke”, and “This America” (Nigerian Movie and has worked with Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Leonardo DeCaprio, Martin Lawence, and Steven Spielberg.
Music Theory, History, Visual Art and Story Telling Instructor
Jesse Sahbi is an artist musician, songwriter. After having performed in stadia in Ivory Coast and Burkina, Benin, Togo, Mali, Senegal and Cape Verde he moved to the US. Now living in San Francisco, where he created a new style of music called SWAAM which means Smooth West African Acoustic and Jazz Music.
Jesse Sahbi is also known for his humoristic cartoon called “Zirigbi” . Zirigbi is a groundbreaking work and a project that deserves a lot of attention. To learn more about Jesse Bi go to this link
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