Monday 15 December 2014

Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo Residency at Capilano U Jazz Studies Dept.

I'm very pleased to announce that drummer and music educator, Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo, will be our artist in residence for Spring 2015. Kofi will be visiting Cap many times over the course of the semester working with all students in the program. I am incredibly excited about this, as are my faculty colleagues. Kofi brings with him a vast knowledge of African music, especially the traditional music and dance of his home country of Ghana. 

In addition to his knowledge of African music, Kofi holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology and is quite accomplished as a music educator in the Western tradition. He was recently a visiting professor at UBC and has taught at the University of Pittsburgh and at various levels of education in Ghana, Togo, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Holland, Spain, Singapore, Brazil, Finland, France, Taiwan, Dubai, China, Germany, Austria, and in many states in the United State of America and provinces in Canada.  Now based in Vancouver, he continues to work in music and African studies at UBC and has co-founded and directs Adanu Habobo, a community-based Ghanaian dance-drumming ensemble.

Cap faculty members with Kofi and some of the donated gear from Cap.
Kofi is an extraordinary individual in many ways. Not only is he an accomplished musician and scholar, he spends a great deal of his time working to better the lives of the people in his home region through education.  Kofi is the founder and director of the Ghana School Project and NunyaMusic Academy at Dzodze, Ghana, an educational project that aims to provide free education in both traditional and Western music and dance for any willing child, especially those from financially underprivileged backgrounds. Please visit the site to find out more about this extremely worthwhile project and how you can get involved.  Capilano U Jazz Studies, Music, and Music Therapy departments have already been involved in donating instruments, books, and other equipment to the Ghana School Project and we will be exploring other ways for the Capilano community to get involved with this great work.  If you have unused instruments or musical equipment that you could consider donating, please contact me (Jared Burrows) at 

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Gbolonyo share his time with us this coming semester and I know the learning opportunities for students and faculty are going to be amazing. I am certain that we all will also be influenced by his humility, kindness, and goodness as a human being, as we were by Bill Frisell's presence in November. This has already been a great year for Jazz Studies at Cap and I'm looking forward to all that will happen this Spring!

Below is a schedule of classes that Kofi will visit as well as other events.  More details will be forthcoming as we get closer to these dates.

Jan. 12 10:30-1:30 Class Percussion
Jan. 16 11:00-1:00 Vocal Ensembles
Jan. 19 10:30-1:30 Class Percussion
Jan. 26 12:30-2:30 Jazz 197 classes
Jan. 30 9:00-12:00 Percussion Ensemble
Feb. 4 12:30-2:30 B Band
Feb. 6 11:00-1:00 combined Vocal Ensembles (including Nitecap, Cap Jazz, Narwhal)
Feb. 23 12:30-2:30 Jazz 197 combined sections 1 and 2
Feb. 25 12:30-2:30 B Band
Feb. 27 9:00-11:30 Percussion Ensemble
Feb. 27 11:30-1:30 Concert with B Band and Percussion Ensemble
Mar. 4 11:30-12:30 Kofi performs concert with Jazz Studies Faculty
Mar. 6 9:00-11:30 Percussion Ensemble
Mar. 6 11:30-1:30 General session for all Jazz Studies students
Mar. 27 11:30-1:30 General session for all Jazz Studies students

Plus a lecture on the Music of West Africa, open to the campus community: date, time, location TBA.