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Barr Library celebrating Black History Month with West African music, dance, culture

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By MICHAEL STEINMACHER

In celebration of African-American History Month, Barr Memorial Library invites community members to a night of djembe drumming, songs, masked dance and participatory dances that everyone can learn led by Guinean dancer Hamidou Koivogui, 6 p.m. Feb. 16. 

Born in the West African village of Macenta, Guinea, Hamidou Koivogui grew up with a passion for drumming, song and dance. While he may have started playing drums with discarded plastic and tomato cans and dancing with friends, the local dance company recognized his talent eventually invited to join the group.

Later, Hamidou was asked to join Guinea’s national dance company following success in his local dance company. While a member of the national company he travelled the world performing and sharing his passion for dancing, drumming and his native Guinea.

Guinea has a long and complex history riddled with French colonialism, slavery, revolutions, disease and ongoing human rights issues. However, situated on the west coast of Africa, the Republic of Guinea is home to 24 different ethnic groups and even more known indigenous languages. The culture flourishes despite the numerous disadvantages and the people remain faithful to their heritage.

Recently relocated to Louisville, Hamidou shares his art forms and works with a number of organizations including VSA Kentucky, The Kentucky Center’s Arts-in-Healing Program, Adventure Camp/Scouting Unlimited and Highland Community Ministries.

 This hourlong presentation on West African music, dance and culture, features artists Hamidou Koivogui, Sheri Carbone and Gregory Acker. The presentation will include music and dance demonstrations, cultural background and hands-on instruction in drumming, songs and dance.

For program details or more information, contact the Library at (502) 624-1232.