Instructor: Angela Scharfenberger

Angela Scharfenberger has dedicated 30 years to a love of African music. Her first teacher was John Paul Wright, and she was part of a small community of drummers centered around Kente African shop in Louisville, sharing Afro-Cuban and West African (Mande) rhythms. This led to a week-long workshop with Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji in 1994. Her central focus then became Ghanaian music, under the tutelage of Sowah Mensah, including drums, songs and xylophone (1994-1998) in St. Paul, Minnesota. She studied Zimbabwean mbira, song and marimba with the late 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) discovering music in Ghana and Zimbabwe, and an intensive two weeks learning sabar drums and konting (banjo) in the Gambia (2021). She has produced dozens of workshops and concerts for visiting African musicians. Angela directs Zimbabwean neo-traditional ensemble Zim Marim, and performs with Latin American ensemble Yapa! and ASEYE Ghanaian drum group. Angela’s LFS classes focus on African drumming and singing as a container for community-building.