Mestre Kamau Blakney

Mestre Kamau co-leads with Contramestre Eva the Philadelphia chapter of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation (FICA), known as FICA Philly. This organization works to foster community growth and enrichment through the preservation of the Capoeira Angola tradition and African history throughout Philadelphia and its regions. Kamau Blakney holds the title of Mestre (Capoeira Master), given […]

Fatu Gayflor

Fatu Gayflor started to sing in her home village of Kakata in northwestern Liberia. Her mother sang around the home, “when she was happy,” and Ms. Gayflor became a singer early. A member of the Lorma ethnic group, she received instruction in ritual and songs and in playing the sasa (sekere) as part of the […]

Zaye Tete

Zaye Tete is a singer and dancer from Liberia. Born in Toweh Town, Nimba County in the northeastern part of the country, Zaye was one of 13 children of parents who grew coffee and cocoa. Along with one of her sisters, she became part of a local dance and song group that performed on the […]

Marie Nyenabo

Marie Nyenabo is a performer of traditional Liberian songs and dances that are central to family and community occasions. She’s also a popular recording star. She became an anti-war activist during Liberia’s civil wars in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, using her artistry to reach those on all sides of the conflict. Later, she […]

Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change

The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change is a group of talented, internationally acclaimed, ethnically diverse Liberian artists based in Philadelphia. They use traditional songs, dances, and drama to call attention to issues impacting the local Liberian community, from the ongoing trauma of escaping the Liberian Civil War to the gender violence faced by many refugees […]

Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society

Extraordinary masters from important Beijing opera families along with many dedicated learners have established the Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society (PCOS), our region’s only organization devoted to the study, teaching, and performance of Beijing opera (also known as Jing Ju, or Peking Opera). This highly developed and stylized art form dates back over two thousand years. […]

Kulu Mele

Since its creation, Kulu Mele African American Dance Ensemble has established a national reputation as a unique and dynamic performing company. Kulu Mele’s repertoire is an exciting blend of West African ancestral tradition and African American creativity. Performances include music and dance of Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba and African America. A force […]

Thavro Phim

Thavro Phim entered Cambodia’s School of Fine Arts (re-named Royal University of Fine Arts in 1993), in part because he is from a long line of prominent Cambodian artists. His great-uncle Hang Tun Hak, Rector of the Royal University of Fine Arts, oversaw the royal dance in the mid-20th century and was, at one point, […]

Shuyuan Li

Shuyuan Li has been a Beijing Opera performing artist for over forty years and is a fourth generation artist in this tradition. At age 10, she started receiving vigorous, standard, traditional training in all aspects of Beijing opera under the tutelage of her family. Her father, Li Wuanchun, was a well-established virtuoso of Beijing Opera […]

Madhusmita Bora

Born and raised in Assam, India, dancer Madhusmita Bora is co-artistic director of the Philadelphia-based Sattriya Dance Company. Trained in the classical Indian dance forms of Sattriya and Kathak and the music traditions of Borgeet and Hindustani Classical, Bora made her debut as a dancer performing at her village temple before she turned four years […]