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Spirit of West Africa Festival 2015

Saturday, May 9th 2015

a celebration of West African culture in the Diaspora!

Press Release:

Seattle Center FESTÁL and Thione Diop are excited to present the 10th Annual Spirit of West Africa Festival on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Seattle Center Armory from 12:00 to 8:00 pm. For ten years the Spirit of West Africa has celebrated the cultural diversity and resilience of West African music and dance with a vibrant variety of traditions from throughout the Diaspora.

Each year we have been honored and humbled by the energy and enthusiasm of Northwest audiences for our efforts to shine a positive light on present generations of West Africans, to connect with our cousins across continents, and to illuminate the vision of our ancestors. We welcome you to join us again in our special anniversary year as we gather and groove with old friends and new!

The 2015 line up includes an incredible range of talented artists bringing us sizzling sounds from Benin to Cuba, Ghana to Guinea, Honduras, Senegal, Nigeria and beyond. The festival kicks off with a dance class by Gansango and Etienne Cakpo from Benin, and besides our live performances we will have a dazzling Fashion Show produced by Nansare Consolata and Best of Both Worlds Fashion.

Local sculptor Marita Dingus will lead a free African doll-making workshop for youth from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Traditional Senegalese cuisine will be served by Columbia City’s own La Teranga, and festival attendees will have the opportunity to shop the myriad colorful and sophisticated wares for sale by our vendors in the African Marketplace.

Admission to The Spirit of West Africa is FREE as part of Seattle Center’s FESTÁL Series, so we welcome all to join us with family members and friends of all ages.

FESTÁL and The Spirit of West Africa would also like to thank our generous sponsors for helping bring a unique world-class arts experience directly to Pacific Northwest audiences.


12:00-12:30 PM Udoka Cultural Dance – Igbo Music from Nigeria 

12:30-1:15 PM Gansango – Dance Workshop from Benin by Etienne Cakpo

(1:15-1:35 PM Set up chairs – Seattle Center & Volunteers)

1:35-2:20 PM Hagucha Gariñagu – Garifuna Music & Dance from Honduras

2:00-6:00 PM Children’s African Doll-Making Workshop – Marita Dingus 

2:30-3:30 PM Obo Addy’s Okropong – Music from Ghana

3:40-4:30 PM Bembe Olele – Music & Dance from Cuba

4:45-5:20 PM Fashion Show by Nansare Consolata & Best of Both Worlds

5:30-6:20 PM Message from Guinea – Music & Dance from Guinea

6:25-7:15 PM Massamba Diop with Mapathe Diop & Family – Music from Senegal

7:20-8:00 PM Wawali Bonane & Orchestre Afrisa Internationale de Tabu Ley – Congolese Soukous


Join our invite on Facebook:


Lastly, the Spirit of West Africa invites you to join us for a special Festival after-party on Sunday, May 10, 2014 at 7:00pm to midnight at Jaam Rek Studios, 2000 S Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144.


Here’s a video of last year’s Spirit of West Africa Festival 2014:

SOWA Festival 2014

Peace and bless…

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