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Featured Performances 2019

Olivier Tarpaga & Dafra Kura Band (Princeton Africa Ensemble)

Olivier Tarpaga & Dafra Kura Band (Princeton Africa Ensemble)

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Hailing from Burkina Faso, Dafra Kura Band fuses the high energy of the griot ancestral tradition and the contemporary sounds of modern African cities sourced from Mandé tradition, nomad desert blues, and Afrobeat. DAFRA aims to bring people together to investigate tolerance and diversity and to draws in audiences from diverse communities to celebrate the rich diversity of West African music and dance.

Olivier Tarpaga is a Lester Horton Award-winning dancer–choreographer and musician, a dance lecturer at the Lewis Center for the Arts, and a music lecturer and the director of the African music ensemble for Princeton University’s Department of Music. Tarpaga is the founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band and co-founder of the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. He danced with David Rousseve/ REALITY from 2006 to 2010, when he was also a State Department Art Envoy in South Africa, Botswana, Burkina Faso, and Sri Lanka. In 2008, he was invited to re-interpret Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with West African instruments for a sold-out concert with British singer Billy Bragg and numerous guests at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California

Titilope Sonuga

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Titilope Sonuga is an award-winning poet and performer who calls both Lagos, Nigeria and Edmonton, Canada, home. The recipient of the Canadian Authors’ Association Emerging Writer Award, and a 2015 Open Society (OSIWA) Foundation Resident Poet on Goree Island, off the coast of Senegal, she is a leading voice in local and international performance poetry communities who has travelled extensively as a poet, and facilitated poetry workshops across the world. 


She was the first poet to perform at a Nigerian presidential inauguration in May 2015. Her poetry has been translated into Italian, German and Slovak.


Her collection, This is How We Disappear is forthcoming with Write Bloody North in April 2019.

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