NMSU College of Education, Black Programs host Black History Month performances

The New Mexico State University College of Education and Black Programs will host several events this month recognizing Black History Month with cultural music performances.

The college’s Dance Program and Black Programs will sponsor a performance by Soriba Fofana, director of the MORIA West African Dance & Drum Ensemble in New Mexico. The performance will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Corbett Center Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and are available by calling 575-646-4067.

Fofana will host a dance workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 27 at the James B. Delamater Activity Center, 1600 Stewart Street, in Studio 229. He will also host a drumming workshop at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at First Christian Church, 1809 El Paseo Road. Cost of each workshop is $10 a person. The performance and both workshops are open to the public.

Fofana is originally from the Susu tribe, which resides on the coastal region of Guinea, Conakry in West Africa. Fofana began studying with Ali Sylla of Les Percussions de Guinea and later with Morcire Camara of Percussion Wassa. He went on to become director of music for Percussion Wassa in Matam, Conakry in 2005. Fofana came to the United States in 2009 and began teaching and performing traditional music of Guinea at schools, festivals and workshops nationwide.

Singer Danay Suarez will perform and host a workshop at NMSU's Corbett Center as part of the Black History Month celebrations on campus. (Courtesy photo) FEB16
Singer Danay Suarez will perform and host a workshop at NMSU’s Corbett Center as part of the Black History Month celebrations on campus. (Courtesy photo) FEB16

On Feb. 24, Cuban singer Danay Suarez will conduct a workshop and discussion on Cuban hip-hop at 1 p.m. in the Corbett Center Auditorium. At 7 p.m. the same day, Suarez will perform her blend of hip-hop, jazz, reggae and traditional Cuban music in the Corbett Center ballrooms.

Admission to both the workshop and concert is free and open to the public.

Suarez garnered headlines in 2013 with a lyrical response to rapper Jay-Z’s “Open Letter” song, which itself was a response to critics of his trip to Cuba that same year. She has performed at Summerstage in New York City and at the University of North Carolina.

Suarez’s workshop and performance is also sponsored by ASNMSU, Residence Hall Association, International and Border Programs, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Hilton Garden Inn, American Indian Programs, Chicano Programs, the NMSU English Department, Counseling and Student Development, Pic Quik Stores, Interdisciplinary Studies, Department of Government, Center for Latin American and Border Studies, Keep Las Cruces Beautiful, the NMSU Honors College, CAMP Student Council, the NMSU Department of Anthropology, Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Spirit Winds Gift Source & Coffee Bar, Sunspot Solar Energy Systems and the M.O.D.

Author:  Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU