WEST AFRICAN MUSIC & DANCE
Dr. Kofi J. S. Gbolonyo is an ethnomusicologist, music educator, performer, and a scholar. He is Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology and African Studies and the Founding Director of the UBC African Ensemble at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Ethnomusicology, African Music and African Studies and directs the UBC African Ensemble since 2009. He is also the Co-Director of Adanu Habobo, a semi-professional West African music and dance ensemble; the Director of the Orff-Afrique International Summer Course in Ghana; the Founder and Director of the Nunya Academy.
Gbolonyo holds a Ph.D. (2009) and an MA (2005) in Ethnomusicology and a Graduate Certificate in African Studies (2009) at the doctoral level from the University of Pittsburgh; an Orff-Schulwerk Certificate Level III (2008) from San Francisco International Orff Course; a BA (Hons. 2002) in Linguistics and Music from the University of Ghana, Legon; a Professional Dip.Ed (1997) in Ewe Language and Music Education from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana; and a Professional Teacher’s Certificate A (1990) from E.P. College of Education, Amedzofe, Ghana.
Prior to his appointment at the University of British Columbia, Gbolonyo was the director of the University of Pittsburgh African Music and Dance Ensemble (2005-2009); and a Teaching Fellow (2005-2009) at the Department of Music, University of Pittsburgh while pursuing his master’s and doctoral studies. He served as a production assistant at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, worked with Abibigromma (the resident theater company of the university from 2002-2003), and was the student director of the University of Ghana’s African Brass Ensemble (1999-2001).
His primary research, expertise, and educational interests are in West African traditional music and dance, Ewe indigenous knowledge, language and culture, Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy, multicultural music education, Ghanaian brass band and choral music. His scholarship focuses on indigenous knowledge and cultural values in the musical practices of the Ewe and Fon of West Africa.
Dr. Gbolonyo, an internationally recognized Orff-Schulwerk music educator, is a seasoned clinician who conducts workshops and gives presentations all over the world. He is an advocate of multicultural music education and has taught at different levels of education in Ghana and other countries in West Africa, Europe, South America, East and Southeast Asia, and in many states in the United States of America and provinces in Canada.