"Kunda" means "family", a fitting name for this multicultural duo, Kocassale Dioubate from Guinea, West Africa and Canadian-born partner Sasha Belle, who share their passion through fun and interactive cultural music and dance performances, workshops and residencies for children, youth and adults in schools, camps, festivals and community events. A descendant of his Mandingo tribe's "djeliba" or "griot" (traditional musicians, singers, storytellers and oral historians), Koca was born into an inherited lineage of music and entertainment which goes back hundreds of years; he has been playing music since his early childhood, and is excited to share his knowledge with others.
Having worked with music students at both Elementary and high schools, I understand the importance of an engaging performance. Sasha and Koca delivered such a performance with ease. The students (and parents and staff) loved the passion and energy exuded by these artists. Jennifer MacInnes, Band Director, Madeira Park Elementary
Thanks so much for coming up and giving workshops to our students. Both students and teachers LOVED it! The high energy, the opportunity to play drums and other musical instruments, the dancing and singing were all very much a part of a great day. I personally love how you were able to give workshops to every class in the school! Rick Miller, Principal, Mountview Elementary
Thank you, Sasha and Koca! We really enjoyed having you at PJ and I was so impressed with what the students learned in such a short time! The Grade 6/7s played so well and the little Kindies were 100% focused! Don't see that every day! Actually, one Kindergarten teacher told me after school yesterday that it was the best artist in residence program that she has experienced in her years at PJ. Pretty good feedback! Chantal Trudeau, Principal, École Pauline Johnson
Through a progressive series of fun multi-day workshops, students will have the opportunity to experiment with and learn to play a variety of traditional West African percussion instruments, also learning ancient songs and typical dance movements and their historical and cultural context. Over the course of the residency, each group of students will learn a different rhythm, song and/or dance. Schools may chose to hold a concert at the end of the residency where students have the opportunity to perform what they have learned in front of their peers. Schools may book between 2-30 days consecutively or separately.
Through a progressive series of fun multi-day workshops, students will have the opportunity to experiment with and learn to play a variety of traditional West African percussion instruments, also learning ancient songs and typical dance movements, as well as their historical and cultural context. Over the course of the residency, each group of students will learn a different rhythm, song and/or dance, which together with Kunda they will prepare and practice. Schools may choose to hold a concert at the end of the residency where students have the opportunity to perform what they have learned in front of their peers.
Both educational and entertaining, these fun and interactive cultural workshops allow students a chance to experiment with a variety of traditional percussion instruments and dance movements while learning also about their historical and cultural context. Through call-and-response songs and repeat-after-me exercises, participants will learn language, vocabulary and how to count in Koca's African dialects. Kunda introduces different tools and cultural items used in West African daily life, while also touching on subjects like geography and social studies. Workshops are generally facilitated one class/group at a time, for 20-40 min each group (max 50 students per group).