WHAT IS GAHU?
Gahu is a recreational and social dance music of the Ewe people of Ghana which combines drumming, dancing and singingand creates experiences of joy and belonging for participants. It was brought to Ghana in the early 1950s by Ewe fisherman who learned the music and dance from the Yoruba people of Benin and Nigeria while on expedition. The Yoruba created the piece as a form of satirical commentary on modernization in Africa. Today, it is one of the best known Ewe pieces around the world and is open to all to participate in its infectious spirit.
WHAT IS THE GAHU PROJECT?
The Gahu Project is a racial justice community music initiative that will bring together local youth, professional artists and arts organizations to explore and discover the music of Ghana and engage in participatory music making through a presentation of Gahu.
The project involves a number of collaborators including the Centre for Sound Music Education, the Waterloo Region District School Board, the African Community Wellness Initiative and the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University. Additional community partners include the KW Multicultural Centre and the City of Kitchener.
The project will use this participatory music from Ghana as the catalyst to engage the broader regional community in a discussion around the intersection of racial justice and music education. Leading up to the main project weekend, professional artists will deliver music workshops in local high schools and key leaders within the ACBI (African, Caribbean, Black Identifying) community will craft curriculum around the intersection of racial justice to be delivered as a part of these workshops in partnership with the WRDSB.
The main events will take place the first weekend in May 2019. Saturday May 4, will feature a performance at the Kitchener Market by the Ottawa-based Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community. A panel discussion on racial justice and music/music education will be held at Kitchener City Hall Rotunda on Sunday May 5. The event will culminate on Music Monday (May 6) as local high school students will gather at Kitchener City Hall Square and be led by Ghanaian master drummer Kwasi Dunyo in a mass musical experience of Ghanaian drumming, dancing and singing.