(Performing Arts Collective)

WHO IS EGUN OMODE? (pronounced Ay-Goon O-Mo-Day)

EgunOmode (children of the ancestors), founded by Baye and MakedaKemit, is Trenton, NJ’s own West African dance & drum, Yoruba folklore performing arts group. Our company is comprised of teachers and students of The Garvey School/EgunOmodeShule, an African-centered independent school in Trenton and professional artists from Guinea, West Africa and others from the greater NJ area. As African-centered educators, musicians and life-long students of African culture, EgunOmode brings the authenticity and excitement of West African culture and tradition to the stage.

Musically directed by FolusoMimy, Dance Africa’s (NY) resident drummer, EgunOmode provides the authentic sound of the djembe orchestra, musically extending beyond Mali, Guinea, & Ivory coast rhythms. We also incorporate sabar drums from Senegambia, Capoeira-Angola martial arts from Angola/Brazil and the dundun (talking drum) from Nigeria.

EgunOmode is joined by an array of talented artists: Queen Nur, the President of the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS), AbdoulaiyeToure (Master drummer-Guinea, West Africa), Alpha Diop (Maimouna Keita and Kankouran West African Dance Company, ADH), TanyaradzwaTawengwa (Zimbabwean songtress/musician), OmomolaIyabunmi (Women’s Sekere Ensemble), Bianca Albright(Illstyle&Peace), and many other professional musicians. BayeKemit adds a brush of artistic flavor but serves as the Manager of the company.

MakedaKemit, the Mama of Drama or Artistic Director/Choreographer, has been West African dancing since the age of 3. By the age of 10, Makeda traveled to Senegal as a member Maimouna Keita, under the direction of internationally known master teacher Marie Bass-Wiles. Later she became assistant Artistic Director of Timbuktu Dancers and Drummers in Trenton. After graduating from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, Makeda has written, choreographed and directed 5 dynamic West African musical productions: The Journey (May, 2012), 5 Pumpkin Seeds (May, 2013), The Cowtail Switch (December, 2013), Look For Me In The Whirlwind (December, 2014) and our current touring production, The Telling of the Trees (December, 2015).

EgunOmode has toured consistently since 2012 mainly on the East Coast. In addition to the various performances and events, we have performed at various theatres such as Mary Burke Theater (Newark, NJ), Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), Robinson Theatre (Richmond, NJ), Mill Hill Theatre (Trenton) and coming soon to Painted Bride Arts Center (Philadelphia).