K-12 School Program presented by Uasuf Gueye
Using an extensive knowledge of West African history and culture, Uasuf Gueye presents an exhilarating performance that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally captivating. In this brief lecture demonstration suitable for all ages, Gueye introduces some of the most popular instruments of Manding, West Africa. He provides a unique experience that allows participants to see how these instruments are played, learn how they are constructed, and learn how they are used within traditional society. In this highly energetic presentation, he aims to educate and entertain by presenting music and historical information in a way that is intriguing and tangible for any audience.
Students will learn the names of each instrument, what materials go into constructing them, and basic techniques for playing them. They will learn which modern day countries in West Africa belonged to the Manding Empire along with the basics of the languages spoken by Manding people. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with performers as they try out some of the instruments themselves.
Residency, workshop, and other program descriptions also available here.
Born in Washington, DC, Uasuf Gueye belongs to a family of Nguewel/Diali, or oral historians and musicians. He began his study and performance of Manding and Wolof music at a very young age. Uasuf is a dynamic djembe and dundun drummer as well as a skilled instrument craftsman. He also plays the 21-key Bala, which he learned first with his teacher, Cheick Hamala Diabate and other master artists of the Manding tradition of West Africa. Uasuf has dedicated his life to the task of becoming an ambassador of African culture to the world. The catalyst for such a responsibility is the passion he has for reconnecting those of the African Diaspora to one another. His repertoire ranges from traditional songs from the 13th century to contemporary original compositions incorporating blues and jazz riffs.
"I really enjoyed the performance...I enjoyed the interaction, especially the clapping with the talking drum. I liked learning about the history of the instruments and how it all connects us as a human race" - Soo Young Chrisfield, Music Teacher K-2
"I really loved the audience participation parts where I got to clap along, because I felt like I was able to relate to the music and understand it more." - Holly Stephens, Language Arts Teacher
"Amazing job! I was amazed at how he made all of the instruments himself and all of the music was just really awesome" - Student, Friends Community School
"The history he brought us, both of the instruments and the stories they tell, made a big impact on our families. I thank him for sharing with us." - Larry Clements, Head of School
"This is my second time seeing Uasuf's performance. It's always great, I learn a lot everytime. It's so interactive. Kids and adults love it. I can't wait to have him back at our school." - Jennifer Claiborne, Language Arts Teacher and Humanities Coordinator
Recent School Performances
Friends Community School (College Park, MD)
Greencastle Elementary (Silver Spring, MD)
Children’s Manor Montessori (Rockville, MD)
Tyler Elementary (Washington, DC)
Langley Park-McCormick Elementary (Langley, MD)
For more information or booking inquiries, click here.