African group to dance, drum at outdoor festival

Vashon Allied Art’s World Music Festival, slated for 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Camp Burton outdoor amphitheater, will feature four groups, including African dance/drum group Sohoyini.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2008 4:32pm
  • Arts

Awal Alhassan

Vashon Allied Art’s World Music Festival, slated for 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Camp Burton outdoor amphitheater, will feature four groups, including African dance/drum group Sohoyini.

The band’s name translates to “one heart” in the Dagbani language of Northern Ghana.

“We created Sohoyini with the hope of uniting cultures and celebrating our diversity through the beautiful dance and music of West Africa,” the band wrote on its MySpace page. “We really believe that music and dance are art forms that can change the world.”

Sohoyini’s lead dancer Awal Alhassan brings contagious exuberance to the group’s performances as he leaps onto the stage with a smile and beckons audience members to join him.

For Alhassan, dance is life. Growing up in Tamale, Ghana, he danced and drummed with his family for their daily entertainment. He has taught drumming and dancing since age 7 and led his own after-school dance program in Ghana. He has performed throughout Africa, including at the National Theater of Ghana.

Bringing his joyful energy to the Northwest, he now teaches classes and workshops at Velocity Dance Center and Spectrum Dance Theater and performs in the Seattle area and beyond.

Sohoyini’s self-titled debut compact disc blends upbeat traditional and contemporary music recorded in the United States and Ghana. The CD will be available for purchase at the festival.

Tickets, available now at Blue Heron and Heron’s Nest, are $12 VAA members, seniors and students, $14 general admission and $5 for ages 12 and under. Call  463-5131 to reserve. Delicious food will be provided all evening by Shefidgets Catering.

Camp Burton is an alcohol-free venue.

World Music Festival is sponsored by Boeing and the Vashon Park District with additional support from Vashon Thriftway, Arts Fund and Washington Stage Arts Commission.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Arts

The Desert Island Bookworm does Dostoevsky

“The Brother’s Karamazov” is an extraordinary literary achievement, replete with philosophical ideas.

What’s Happening Oct. 15 – 22

Vashon Repertory Theatre takes to the airwaves, yoga at the senior center, and more.

Pet Protectors present ‘Quarantiniest Fur Ball Ever’

The fundraiser will be online throughout Oct. 24, with numerous objects, services and experiences up for bid.

Our Town: Clay was in the stars for Jane Neubauer

We hear from ceramic artist Jane Neubauer about how she has found fulfillment in working with clay.

What’s Happening Oct. 8 – 15

Band with local tie offers new video, a lecture at VCA is rescheduled, and more.

Meet our farmers: Lotus, in her backyard wonderland

“The ecology of how it all works together fascinates and inspires me.”

For local theater artists, the show must go on

A new company, Vashon Repertory Theatre, will launch with a set of seven short radio plays.

For some local artists, local auction is a 43-year tradition

VCA’s gala fundraising auction is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

What’s Happening Sept. 10 – 17

Drive the red carpet at Open Space, Passport2Pain switches gears, Rotary plans a benefit, and more.

A night at the drive-in is for the birds

Two programs, both Vashon bird-centric, will be shown on the big screen on Tuesday.

Original dance works find a place in the sun

Four pieces slated to take the stage at the Vashon Center for Dance have been reworked for video.

At Subway, a family perseveres to live their dream

In this ongoing series, we hear from island restaurateurs about how they are faring in the pandemic.