West African Percussion Ensemble

A multi-cultural ensemble of instrumentalists, singers, and dancers organized to explore and perform a variety of music and dance from cultures around the world.

The cultures to be studied will be dependent on enrollment. Participants native to the represented cultures will be enlisted to assist in the teaching of basic performance practices and concepts. Enrollment is open to all students, faculty, and staff who are competent instrumentalists, singers and/or dancers from both Western and non-Western traditions.


No performances currently scheduled. Please visit the RIT Events Calendar for a full listing of performing arts concerts and events.

Audition Information

No preparation or audition required. Contact Director Kerfala Bangoura for more information about joining the ensemble.

The first class meeting of the Spring 2023 semester will be held on Tuesday, January 17 at 5pm in SAU A120. Please email Prof. Bangoura prior to attending (kfbgla@rit.edu).


5-6:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in SAU A120


Students can register for this 1 credit course.

Credits 1
The World Music Ensemble is a hands-on course, in which students learn the fundamentals of music as a sociological phenomenon and a variety of concepts and world views to answer the question, What is music? This is accomplished by introducing students to several music cultures, through learning fundamental instrumental and dance techniques, with African music being central to the study. Ensemble is coached four-to-six-times-a-year by professional musicians and dancers, including Ghanaian Master Drummer Martin Kwaku Obeng, and performs several times each school year, both on campus and in the community. Enrollment is open to all interested students, faculty, and staff, regardless of musical proficiency. Developing cooperation and teamwork is a necessary outcome of participation in this ensemble. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.

About the ensemble

The RIT African Percussion & Dance Ensemble (FNRT 253: World Music Ensemble) is comprised of a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff who enjoy exploring the dynamic percussive traditions of Guinea. Led by master drummer and dancer, Kerfala “Fana” Bangoura, the ensemble combines the iconic djembe hand drum with a trio of drums played with sticks, known as dunun, sangban, and kenkeni. The powerful, multi-part relationships established by this trio of drums provide a rhythmic foundation for the ensemble, enabling djembe players to develop technique in executing both accompaniment and solo parts. You do not have to read music (though it always helps!). Drums provided.

Ensemble Images


Kerfala Bangoura
Kerfala Bangoura
Director of African Percussion Ensemble
College of Liberal Arts