Suzan Bradford Kounta
West African Dance/Movement & Music
As creative director of the Thiossane Institute, Suzan Bradford Kounta is loyal to the mission of presenting and preserving traditional dance, music, and culture and perpetuating its significance to future generations while promoting physical and mental wellness. Through authentic presentations and detailed instruction, Thiossane is an asset to the Columbus community and has many collaborations in the arts. The institute will celebrate 20 years next year with the debuts of restaging theatrical African folktales such as “Allandar: The Epic of Sundiata,” the ancient Malian story that inspired the “Lion King” (2015); “Mufaro’s Most Beautiful Daughter” (2016); “Kirikou and the Sorcerer” (2017); “Spider Weaver, The Legend of the Kente Cloth” (2018); and “Mbenktel Khaleyi (Happiness of the Children)” (2019).…
West African Drumming & Dance/Movement
Sogbety Diomande, (Sow-beh-tea Gee-oh-mahn-day) was born in the village of Toufinga, a small farming community located in the northwest region of the Ivory Coast near the border of Guinea in Africa. He is a professional drummer and dancer and has been performing since he was a child. He has been a member of Ballet National de Cote d’Ivoire and Kotchegna Dance Company, and he has been featured with many troupes in New York City and around the U.S. Sogbety spends most of his time performing solo and conducting workshops in schools, libraries, festivals, and community events all over Ohio and surrounding areas.…
Tom Evert has been a creative force in creating and performing original choreographic works with a company of dancers, working intensively in arts-education programming and creating festival-like community events in Ohio for 33 years.
Tom currently serves as artistic director of DANCE EVERT, which he founded in 1986. He holds BFAs in both painting and dance from Ohio University and has enjoyed a world-class touring career with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York City. He has created a major body of work for which he has received eight Individual Excellence Awards in choreography.…
Baba Jubal Harris
African Music, Drum Making, & Storytelling
Baba Jubal is a pioneer in the emerging field of Arts Integrated Education. For 30 years, he has conducted artist residencies, performances, workshops, teacher in-service, and professional development that have made a substantial contribution to the cultural and educational life of communities throughout the state of Ohio and the United States. He has developed an innovative methodology that integrates art, science, math, music, social studies, dance, language, and history into the core curriculum. His multiple-intelligence approach is holistic in application, resulting in measurable improvement of student academic achievement. Above all, his love of life and the joy of sharing his many creative talents inspire students to learn.…
Eric Paton (MM) is a world percussionist fascinated by the intersection of movement and music. He accompanied Afro Caribbean dance classes for ten years, including technique and Dunham techniques classes with April Berry Burkey. He founded the Hiuchi Taiko Ethnic Percussion Ensemble featuring the music of Cuba, Haiti, Brazil and Japan, the KataBomba Drummers, co-directed Sambateria (a community samba percussion ensemble), and directs Yumbambé Salsa Jazz.
He specializes in percussion from the African Diaspora and Japan and is dedicated to providing interactive learning experiences for all learners and educators.
Paton has performed with national and international artists including Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente Jr., Sir Roland Hannah, Bobby Shew-Salsa Caliente, Earl Klugh, Milano La Scala (Italian National Opera), Eitetsu Hayashi, and Burnadette Peters.…
Hans Utter is multi-instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, and dedicated educator. Since 1993, he has studied sitar and tabla with India’s top musicians, including Ustad Shujaat Khan. He holds a diploma in sitar from the Benares Hindu University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from The Ohio State University. In his music, he aims to communicate the depth and beauty of North Indian music through the sitar and to illuminate the varied world of Indian art, culture, and history.
In addition to the sitar, his research as an ethnomusicologist has led him into music of the Middle East and Central Asia.…