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SU-CASA 2024

A Celebration of Mande Music from Guinea, West Africa

Irene Koloseus, along with musicians Andy Algire and Niko Diarra-Koloseus, have been teaching West African Mande Music, played on djembes and balafons, to seniors at the Vandalia Older Adult Center.

Creative aging through music recognizes and honors the emotional, cognitive, and social benefits for older adults engaged in musical programming through lessons, workshops, and interactive concerts.

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The Mande Empire, founded eight centuries ago and spanning modern-day Mali and Guinea, bequeathed a rich musical legacy. This legacy was preserved by generations of griots (traditional musicians and singers) who orally handed down the traditions of Mande culture and history.

Irene Koloseus and members of her group Feraba taught the electrifying rhythms, songs, and melodies from Guinea, West Africa. Traditional instruments such as balafons (wooden xylophones), djembe drums, shakers, and doun douns were provided, allowing seniors to experience the rich culture of Mande music firsthand.

We had an incredible time working with the older adults at the Vandalia Senior Center! With up to 20 active students and numerous enthusiastic bystanders who couldn’t resist joining in—grabbing a shakere or tambourine, or bursting into dance—we all reveled in the joy of playing traditional music from Guinea. I eagerly anticipated each class every week. Both the staff and seniors were always welcoming and excited to learn. I truly wish we could continue this all year long! 

Thank you Vandalia OAC, thank you BAC, thank you all!


About Su-Casa

SU-CASA is a collaboration among the New York City Council, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging, and the city's five local arts councils.


This program is supported by public funds from the New York City Council in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department for the Aging.

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