West African Drum Ensemble

The UNI West African Drum Ensemble (UNI-WADE) was formed in the Fall of 1997. It is now a continuing course offered through the School of Music that may be taken for credit. The curriculum includes drumming, dancing and singing from Ghana and Guinea , West Africa . UNI-WADE is comprised of UNI students who are interested in learning and performing the music of other cultures.

The current repertoire is based on the music of the Malinke people from Guinea using jembes, dununs, bells and rattles as well as the Ewe people from Kopeyia , Ghana . The Ewe ensemble consists of drums made in Ghana - sogo, kidi, kaganu, klobotodzi, totodzi, donno, gankogui, axatse and frikyiwa - as well as the master drums - gboba and atsimevu.

Under the direction of Randy Hogancamp UNI-WADE has performed for Martin Luther King, Jr., Kwanzaa and Black History celebrations around the state. In addition the ensemble has presented many school and children's programs in the Cedar Valley and has taped an educational program for cable television. UNI-WADE has also performed for the Northern Festival of Bands, the Iowa Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion in Grinnell, the Iowa Bandmasters Association Convention and Nollen Plaza AFRIKA Festival in Des Moines and the KCRG Variety Clubs Telethon in Cedar Rapids .

Enjoy a video of the Percussion, West African and Kaji-Daiko ensembles concert from Fall 2008 by clicking here. (This video requires the FREE Real Player).

Enjoy two videos of the Percussion, West African and Kaji-Daiko ensembles concerts from Spring 2009 by clicking here and here. (This video requires the FREE Real Player).

Enjoy videos of the Percussion, West African Drum and Kaji-Daiko ensembles concert from Fall 2010 & Spring 2011 by clicking here. (This video requires the FREE Real Player).


The 2000-2001 UNI West African Drum Ensemble following
a performance at the University of Dubuque.


UNI-WADE dancing to Atsiabekor.


UNI-WADE performing Gota.


Kofie Agbeli dancing Atsiabekor.


See also the Percussion Ensemble page and the Taiko Ensemble page. For more on the percussion faculty, visit professor Randy Hogancamp's page.