About the Director
"I am honored and thrilled to direct the Center for World Performance Studies. I look forward to collaborating with University of Michigan colleagues, scholars and performers across the globe to facilitate intercultural dialogue through the arts.” Dr. Kwasi Ampene, Director
Professor Kwasi Ampene is the director of the Center for World Performance Studies. He is a scholar and an international performing artist. He has faculty appointments in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. He holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Music Theory from West Virginia University and a General Diploma of Music from the University of Ghana. He comes to Michigan from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
His research interests are in Music composition in oral cultures with emphasis on the Akan of Ghana, Intersection of Phonology, Oral Composition and Performance, Music and Social Change, and Popular Music. He is currently doing field research in Akan court music at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, Ghana.
His book, Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: The Creative Process in Nnwonkorø was published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd, UK, in 2005. He contributed an entry, Mensah, E. T. to the New Encyclopedia of Africa. He has published two book reviews in Ethnomusicology and the American Ethnologist journals. His forthcoming article “One-on-One: Max Roach in Conversation With Kofi Ghanaba,” will appear in the American Music Research Center Journal.
Kwasi has performed in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and across the United States. He uses dance and song styles from several regions across Africa. His stage performances feature group singing, dancing and performances on traditional West African and European musical instruments. He has recorded over 12 LPs as a Guest Recording Artist with Nana Kwame Ampadu I and the African Brothers International Band. He co-wrote and produced Assa: Highlife Dance Time album with Seth Asiedu. He arranged and produced Oheneba Kisi’s debut LP, Suzie, and recorded three LPs as Guest Recording Artist with Prince Osei Kofi and His African Heroes Band, all in Ghana.
Video Links to several of his performances,
which represent dance styles across Africa.