World renowned musician, Balla Kouyaté spent time with middle school students at Thomas Harrison and Skyline Middle Schools and Fine Arts Academy students at Harrisonburg High School on November 9-11.
Originally from Mali, Kouyaté comes from an 800-year long family line of performers on the traditional Malian xylophone, or balafon. The first instrument of its kind, over 1000 years old, remains in his family, and is considered a UNESCO Artifact of Oral and Intangible History. During his three days in Harrisonburg City Public Schools, he provided energetic performances featuring traditional music of Mali, facilitated workshops, and led question and answer sessions for students.
Kouyaté has toured extensively in Africa and Europe and been a featured artist in more than 45 albums. In 2019, Kouyaté was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest form of recognition for the folk and traditional arts by the United States government.
Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley is grateful to our premiere artist partner, Eastern Mennonite University Music Department who made this incredible collaboration possible. Enjoy the photos below from our partners and friends, Tall + Small Photography and Bob Adamek Photography.
Catch up on all the Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley Recent Live Arts Experiences HERE!!