The Osun (pronounced O-shoon) Festival honors the Yoruba river goddess, Osun. The festival features African drum, dance, tradition and theatre. This performance allows young people to see youth their own age performing traditional African cultural traditions and exposes them to African culture. It is a fabulous production that transports the audience on a journey to West Africa. The inspirational production is presented each August almost simultaneously with the annual Osun Festival held in Oshogbo, Nigeria. The Atlanta Osun Festival originated in 1998 as the artistic collaboration of dancer Ramatu Afegbua-Sabbatt and Adebisi Adeleke, Master of the Talking Drum.
The public community forum that precedes our annual performance has been an integral part of our programming since 1998 and was established as an educational platform to discuss the influence, practice, and preservation of indigenous African traditions in the diaspora.
The panel is to share facts, offer opinions and respond to questions either through questions curated by the moderator or taken from the audience directly.
Yoruba dance class
Osun dances are the ritualistic dances of Praise. They are dances of celebration and expression to the Yoruba deity and mother fruitfulness. Osun is an embodiment of love, beauty, wealth, intimacy, diplomacy. She represents the freshwater from the ocean, and is celebrated every year in Osugbo. Among the dances dedicated to Osun, the
Agbebe dance showcases the ritual object most associated with Osun, a secular fan that she uses as a source of authority and symbol of control.
Agbegbe dance is an energetic dance but gracefully displayed.
The concert is a production that displays, drumming, songs, acting, theatre, and energetic dances. The production protrays the faboulus festival held in Osogbo every August of each year.
Osun Festival over the years
2020 OSUN FESTIVAL
Friday, December 11 @ 6pm: Forum (free admission)
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 @ 2pm: Yoruba dance classes
Saturday 12 @ 7pm & Sunday 13 @ 5pm: Virtual Concert
This year's Osun festival is dedicated to Baba Bisi Adeleke
Bisi Adeleke has been Manga's talking drum player for the annual Osun for about 23 years.
Born in Yorubaland, Nigeria, into the lineage of professional Praise Talking Drummers, Adebisi Adeleke is a fourth- generation Master drummer who learned the art from his father.
"Bisi" was educated in his native Nigeria at the University of Ibadan. He was a Yoruba music teacher in the music department of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria. Bisi toured the United States, Holland, West Germany, and Japan with Showcase Ensemble University of Ibadan. He was featured as talking drummer in the film Kongi's Harvest, written by Wole Soyinka, Nobel Poet Laureate.
A former artist in residence at the university of Washington's Ethnomusicoloy Division, he lives in Atlanta, GA, and participated in that city's 1996 Cultural Olympiad. He performed with the former Young Audiences Program of the Woodruff Arts Center for 14 years. Adeleke's personal mission is to explain the role of the drum in African culture.