Studio Faculty (West African Music and Dance Ensemble)
Jordan Messan Benissan, a native of Togo, West Africa, received a B.A. from the Institut des Sciences Commerciales in Lome, Togo. A member of the Ewe people, he was introduced to music and dance at an early age through ceremonies and rituals. He received his traditional music training from several West African master drummers. He has taught and performed for all levels, from elementary school through college level. His first CD, Drumming Through the Spirit of my Ancestors, has been widely distributed and was adopted by the Hennepin County Library (Minneapolis) as a teaching resource. Some of his performances include an opening show for the West African Drummer Babatunde Olatunji, a performance for the national NAACP Conference and performances for Mayo Clinic’s Multicultural Program. His World Music Band was featured as the official band for Béla Fleck’sThrow Down Your Heart concert in Waterville, Maine.