Home > Academics > Music > Faculty > Kwame Ansah-Brew

Kwame Ansah-Brew

Lecturer, African drum and dance ensemble, African drum

Kraushaar
410-337-6276
FRITETE@msn.com
http://www.afrojazzanddance.com/


Education

1977, Traditional Master "Divine" Drummer
The Royal Court of the Right Wing of Akyem Abuakwa Asiakwa, Ghana
1994, Diploma in Theater Arts, Dance
School of Performing Arts, U. of Ghana
2003, Master of Arts, SUNY, Brockport


Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Kwame Ansah-Brew is a Master Drummer, Dancer, and Actor who has performed numerous times at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC, and the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA, and other venues as well as arts festivals throughout the United States. A consummate performer who has thrilled audiences of all ages, Ansah-Brew has a special ability to inspire and connect with students of all ages-including pupils as young as three years old.

Ansah-Brew is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Fritete African Drum and Dance Ensemble, featuring the authentic African rhythms and dances of antiquity. Founded in 1997, their debut performance was at the 1997 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Since then, they have participated in many festivals and campus events in the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands 150th Anniversary of Emancipation Day, Baltimore Rhythm Festival, Virginia Tech, College of William and Mary to mention but a few. In 2001, the ensemble was engaged as the Royal Drummers of the Asante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, during his visit to the U.S.

Co-Director of the Anansegromma Theater Company, which shares and imparts the African heritage through African dance, drumming, folk songs, games and creative dramatics, Ansah-Brew presents musical workshops and storytelling programs for children. So far, the Anansegromma Theater Company has performed in over 350 schools in the United States. And in addition to the company's in-person appearances, the company has released two CDs for children: "Broom Broom Zoom Zoom" a performance recorded live at a branch of the Ann Arundel public library in Maryland and uses traditional Ghanaian songs to introduce children to various rhythmic patterns and to develop their attentive skills through listening to lively storytelling. The other CD, "Agoo-Amee," was recorded at Omega Studios in Rockville, Maryland, and contains stories for children written by Ansah-Brew and company co-director Kofi Dennis, also utilizing the traditional rhythmic patterns of West Africa and Ghana. The Anansegromma Theater Company was founded in 1990, and continues to be a joy to young children.

Ansah-Brew is a Participating Artist in Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts program for three-to-five year olds. Ansah-Brew's experience working with young children in quite extensive and he has taken the opportunity to share his teaching techniques with educators. Held dance residencies in selected Baltimore City head starts and public schools. Presented a seminar on interdisciplinary approach to arts education through dance, drumming and singing held by the Association of Music Teachers, George Mason University, and Fairfax, VA.

He was the Percussionist for the Children's Chorus & Baltimore Choral Arts Society Holiday Concert performances at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Ansah-Brew is also adept at instructing adult students. He has been a Lecturer in Applied Music at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, since 1997, and teaches the theory and practice of African dance and music aesthetics. Ansah-Brew teaches courses in African drum and dance ensemble, as well as private drumming lessons.  He has also worked with a faculty committee to set up a 3-week intensive study course in "Culture and the Arts in Ghana," and he has co-led a study tour to Ghana. 

As a Lecturer, his top priorities are to promote cross-cultural understanding, and to guide students in developing a positive attitude and appreciation towards African dance and music traditions. Lectures include the use of audio/visual aids, practical demonstration of musical instruments, dance movements, and historical background. Ansah-Brew has also been an Instructor in African Humanities teaching African music, dance and storytelling techniques in the undergraduate program at George Washington University, in Washington, DC. He has also been a Lecturer at University of Maryland, College Park, MD. He was also an Instructor of a 5-day intensive program on African drumming for graduate-level ethnomusicology students at Crown College, St. Bonificious, Minnesota.

As a Resident Artist at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, he has helped introduce students to the visual forms of African musical instruments and explores their sounds in a musical performance. He was also a Presenter for "Creativity in the Classroom" at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater. Presented "Stories of Ananse," at several national annual meetings of the Core Knowledge National Conference, sponsored by Core Knowledge Foundation of Charlottesville, VA.  Ansah-Brew served as a Presenter at the African American Storytellers Retreat; Franklinton Center, Bricks, NC. Presenter at the Tenth Annual Conference On Developmentally Appropriate Practice, sponsored by the Lipman Early Childhood School and Research Institute of the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.

Ansah-Brew plays numerous musical instruments and is a well-known performer who appears at numerous community events in the Washington area during Black History Month. Ansah-Brew has also worked as an actor and choreographer. Ansah-Brew was a Performer/Actor in the "HMS Pinafore," Interact Theater Company Folgers Shakespeare Theater, Washington DC, and choreographer of "The Proud King," a youth workshop for the National Commission on Culture, Accra, Ghana. He also played multiple roles in the children's play "Grandmother's Footsteps" at the Barns of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. This play ran for three years.

Ansah-Brew has over 20 years of expertise in working with students of different backgrounds, different ages, and different personalities. "Performing and teaching traditional African dance and drumming are my calling," says Ansah-Brew. "Teaching dance, drumming and songs-whether for recreation or academic purposes-are about a shared communal experience. The traditional method of the teacher-student relationship that I experienced as a royal court musician and dancer are the backbone of my success as a teacher. I believe that students must 'experience' the experience: they must actively participate in a live dancing and drumming session for true learning to take place. This was the guiding principle of my own artistic education, and now my personal teaching
philosophy."

Ansah-Brew earned a Diploma in Theater Arts and Dance from the School of Performing Arts University of Ghana, Legon; as well as a Teacher Certificate from the University of Cape Coast, Presbyterian Training College, Akropong, Ghana. Ansah-Brew served as the Traditional Master "Divine" Drummer in The Royal Court of the Right Wing King of Akyem Abuakwa, Asiakwa, Ghana. As a student of Dance in the Masters of Arts program at the State University of New York, Brockport, Ansah-Brew studied under the guidance of Master Drummer Khalid Saleem and Clyde Alafiju Morgan.

Ansah-Brew is a recipient of the Human Rights Community Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area; Maryland Arts Council Traditional Master Drummer Apprentice Award; Certificate of Appreciation from the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies; Grand-Marshall Award from the City of Macon, GA, at the International Cherry Blossom Festival; Best Entertainment and Creative Float, from the City of Macon, GA, International Cherry Blossom Festival.  

He is the author of "Albert Mawere Opoku, Pioneer in African Dance," published in Traditions Magazine (2003).


Biography

Kwame Ansah-Brew is a Master Drummer, Dancer, and Actor who has performed numerous times at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC, and the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA, and other venues as well as arts festivals throughout the United States. A consummate performer who has thrilled audiences of all ages, Ansah-Brew has a special ability to inspire and connect with students of all ages-including pupils as young as three years old.

Ansah-Brew is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Fritete African Drum and Dance Ensemble, featuring the authentic African rhythms and dances of antiquity. Founded in 1997, their debut performance was at the 1997 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Since then, they have participated in many festivals and campus events in the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands 150th Anniversary of Emancipation Day, Baltimore Rhythm Festival, Virginia Tech, College of William and Mary to mention but a few. In 2001, the ensemble was engaged as the Royal Drummers of the Asante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, during his visit to the U.S.

Co-Director of the Anansegromma Theater Company, which shares and imparts the African heritage through African dance, drumming, folk songs, games and creative dramatics, Ansah-Brew presents musical workshops and storytelling programs for children. So far, the Anansegromma Theater Company has performed in over 350 schools in the United States. And in addition to the company's in-person appearances, the company has released two CDs for children: "Broom Broom Zoom Zoom" a performance recorded live at a branch of the Ann Arundel public library in Maryland and uses traditional Ghanaian songs to introduce children to various rhythmic patterns and to develop their attentive skills through listening to lively storytelling. The other CD, "Agoo-Amee," was recorded at Omega Studios in Rockville, Maryland, and contains stories for children written by Ansah-Brew and company co-director Kofi Dennis, also utilizing the traditional rhythmic patterns of West Africa and Ghana. The Anansegromma Theater Company was founded in 1990, and continues to be a joy to young children.

Ansah-Brew is a Participating Artist in Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts program for three-to-five year olds. Ansah-Brew's experience working with young children in quite extensive and he has taken the opportunity to share his teaching techniques with educators. Held dance residencies in selected Baltimore City head starts and public schools. Presented a seminar on interdisciplinary approach to arts education through dance, drumming and singing held by the Association of Music Teachers, George Mason University, and Fairfax, VA.

He was the Percussionist for the Children's Chorus & Baltimore Choral Arts Society Holiday Concert performances at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Ansah-Brew is also adept at instructing adult students. He has been a Lecturer in Applied Music at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, since 1997, and teaches the theory and practice of African dance and music aesthetics. Ansah-Brew teaches courses in African drum and dance ensemble, as well as private drumming lessons.  He has also worked with a faculty committee to set up a 3-week intensive study course in "Culture and the Arts in Ghana," and he has co-led a study tour to Ghana. 

As a Lecturer, his top priorities are to promote cross-cultural understanding, and to guide students in developing a positive attitude and appreciation towards African dance and music traditions. Lectures include the use of audio/visual aids, practical demonstration of musical instruments, dance movements, and historical background. Ansah-Brew has also been an Instructor in African Humanities teaching African music, dance and storytelling techniques in the undergraduate program at George Washington University, in Washington, DC. He has also been a Lecturer at University of Maryland, College Park, MD. He was also an Instructor of a 5-day intensive program on African drumming for graduate-level ethnomusicology students at Crown College, St. Bonificious, Minnesota.

As a Resident Artist at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, he has helped introduce students to the visual forms of African musical instruments and explores their sounds in a musical performance. He was also a Presenter for "Creativity in the Classroom" at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater. Presented "Stories of Ananse," at several national annual meetings of the Core Knowledge National Conference, sponsored by Core Knowledge Foundation of Charlottesville, VA.  Ansah-Brew served as a Presenter at the African American Storytellers Retreat; Franklinton Center, Bricks, NC. Presenter at the Tenth Annual Conference On Developmentally Appropriate Practice, sponsored by the Lipman Early Childhood School and Research Institute of the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.

Ansah-Brew plays numerous musical instruments and is a well-known performer who appears at numerous community events in the Washington area during Black History Month. Ansah-Brew has also worked as an actor and choreographer. Ansah-Brew was a Performer/Actor in the "HMS Pinafore," Interact Theater Company Folgers Shakespeare Theater, Washington DC, and choreographer of "The Proud King," a youth workshop for the National Commission on Culture, Accra, Ghana. He also played multiple roles in the children's play "Grandmother's Footsteps" at the Barns of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. This play ran for three years.

Ansah-Brew has over 20 years of expertise in working with students of different backgrounds, different ages, and different personalities. "Performing and teaching traditional African dance and drumming are my calling," says Ansah-Brew. "Teaching dance, drumming and songs-whether for recreation or academic purposes-are about a shared communal experience. The traditional method of the teacher-student relationship that I experienced as a royal court musician and dancer are the backbone of my success as a teacher. I believe that students must 'experience' the experience: they must actively participate in a live dancing and drumming session for true learning to take place. This was the guiding principle of my own artistic education, and now my personal teaching
philosophy."

Ansah-Brew earned a Diploma in Theater Arts and Dance from the School of Performing Arts University of Ghana, Legon; as well as a Teacher Certificate from the University of Cape Coast, Presbyterian Training College, Akropong, Ghana. Ansah-Brew served as the Traditional Master "Divine" Drummer in The Royal Court of the Right Wing King of Akyem Abuakwa, Asiakwa, Ghana. As a student of Dance in the Masters of Arts program at the State University of New York, Brockport, Ansah-Brew studied under the guidance of Master Drummer Khalid Saleem and Clyde Alafiju Morgan.

Ansah-Brew is a recipient of the Human Rights Community Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area; Maryland Arts Council Traditional Master Drummer Apprentice Award; Certificate of Appreciation from the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies; Grand-Marshall Award from the City of Macon, GA, at the International Cherry Blossom Festival; Best Entertainment and Creative Float, from the City of Macon, GA, International Cherry Blossom Festival.  

He is the author of "Albert Mawere Opoku, Pioneer in African Dance," published in Traditions Magazine (2003).


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