Instructor: Angela Scharfenberger


Angela Scharfenberger first studied African music with Ghanaian musician Sowah Mensah, including drums, songs and xylophone (1994-1998) in St. Paul, Minnesota. She studied and performed Zimbabwean mbira, song and marimba with Dr. Sheasby Matiure (2005-2009) while earning her M.A. (2009) and PhD (2017) in Ethnomusicology and African Studies from Indiana University. Angela spent two summers (2006, 2012) researching music and culture in Ghana and Zimbabwe, through ethnographic interviews and lessons. Over the past two decades, Angela has conducted numerous African music workshops and concerts for schools and community groups, and has taught Zimbabwean marimba and mbira (thumb piano), African songs and games, and West African drums. She has published articles on gender and music in West Africa and on musical responses to AIDS in Ghana, and her research interests also included transnational flows, cultural identity, community engagement and social change, Africanisms in the diaspora, and traditional religious practices. She has studied and performed with many African musicians, including Babatunde Olatunji, Bernard Woma, Sogbety Diomande, Cosmas Magaya and Patience Munjeri. Angela was a founding member of Louisville’s first West African drumming ensemble, Pati Kele (2004-present), directs Zimbabwean neo-traditional marimba and mbira ensemble Zim Marim (2011-present), is a percussionist with Latin American ensemble Yapa!, and is an artist with Kentucky Center’s Arts and Healing program.

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