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One World Beat News

USA/GHANA/BURKINA FASO: oneVillage Presents "Unity Drum"

On March 19th, starting at 2pm in the USA and the same time locally in Ghana and Burkina Faso, oneVillage Foundation USA and African friends and affiliates will present their own special version of "Drumming in One World Beat", called "Unity Drum". In the USA, the event will take place in San Jose and Sunnyvale, in Ghana in Accra, and in Burkina Faso in Bobo-Dioulasso. For specifics of this event on the oneVillage site see

In Ghana, the drumming event will feature Yusuf Ahmed, who was born and raised in a small area called Nima in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. He is the child of a Nigerian father and is of Yoruba lineage. He has been playing instruments since the age of seven. He formed his first band at age 17, and over the years has mastered several percussion instruments. Influenced by his immersion in the Hausa and Yoruba musical traditions, Yusuf creates his own mesmerizing melodies on the Balafon, Dundun, Talking Drum, Sakra, Bata, Djembe, Goje, Agogo, Sekere, and other instruments. In this event, traditional drumming and dancing will combine with inspirational messages and a colorful presentation, in a groovin' fusion of Afro-Beat, reggae, and West African rhythms.

Yusuf is the founder of the Zorro Band, a popular group in West Africa. He has been spreading African music to the West through his lectures at UC Berkeley on percussion instruments and about his life history, performing throughout California with his band, "The Village Culture Kingdom", and via his CDs--All African Tribe & Diaspora, Doxology and Healing Motion--produced in collaboration with sociologist and anthropologist, Professor Akinsola Akiwowo, and OVF founder, Joy Tang, among others. In Ghana, the Village Culture Kingdom is also a nonprofit that promotes local music, art, and healing.

In San Jose, California, USA, drummers will get together in downtown San Jose to drum traditional West Africa rhythms in homage to the tradition of unity, village focus, and love of community found within African cultures. OVF is dedicating their celebration to the children of the world, and also honoring the Kone Family of Mali and Burkina Faso, for carrying their tradition as West African Griots ("storytellers") from Africa to Asia, Europe, and the USA. The Kone children are as gifted with musical talents as their parents, and descend from three generations of "jeli", W. African singers-musicians-artisans-dancers, who are the repositories of collective knowledge and culture.

This event, which will be led by Master Drummer Mamadou Kone, is meant to connect people everywhere to the roots of his family culture and the heartbeats of his children. It will also be a celebration for the birthday of his daugther Rokia, who will turn four on this day of the "Unity Drum". San Jose musicians include Joy Tang and Doug Bontempi, who will play djembe, dundun, sangban, and kenkeni, in addition to drums. Mamadou Kone has been teaching djembe artistry in San Jose, hoping to spread this music around the globe. In Bobo Dioulasso, Ousmane Diallo and fellow musicians will come together for an event featuring djembe music and dancing, and to send their wishes for a world of peace.

Unity Drum in Sunnyvale, California, USA, will feature Nelson Oliver, as well as fellow drummers, dancers, and like-minded spirits. It will be the first-ever Sunnyvale drumcircle (which the organizers hope will become a tradition). The location is the new plaza across from the train station, where--Nelson says--"we can make a racket". And he urges people to join in, adding: "WE NEED YOUR LIGHT, YOUR LOVE, AND YOUR ENERGY!".

The oneVillage Foundation, located in the USA (headquarters), Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania, works to identify and implement innovative technologies and best practices to promote ecologically and socially sustainable economic growth in low-income regions of the world. Their focus is on sustainable development and social-enterprise solutions that integrate eco-living principles and practices with use of ICTs, the arts, and other communication modes, operating through specially designed ecovillages called Unity Centers. A related program,, is a social enterprise incubator that helps to support OVF's projects. They address HIV/AIDS and other human-development challenges in a holistic way, and seek to link the local and global in creating and developing solutions for the health and well-being of the planet and its peoples.

More about the Drumming events in:
- Ghana
- Burkina Faso
- San Jose - USA
- Sunnyvale - USA



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"You guys Rock."
Leigh Blake, Founder - Keep A Child Alive
ody> "You guys Rock."
Leigh Blake, Founder - Keep A Child Alive