West African Heritage Ensemble
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music
Department: Performance
Course Number: JPER 4523
Course Format: Studio
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Jazz
  • Contemporary Music
Through listening, reading and performing, this ensemble explores the rich musical heritage of West Africa and the West African diaspora in the Americas. Special attention is paid to internalizing rhythmic patterns and phrases by way of clapping, singing, and call-and-response techniques. Students will apply West African concepts to their understanding of jazz and improvisation, including historical connections and contemporary interpretations. The repertoire to be used in this course will include traditional music from the diaspora as well as original compositions by contemporary composers. In addition to participation from vocalists, brass, woodwind, and rhythm section players on their main instruments, the ensemble welcomes those interested in learning and developing skills on West African percussion instruments.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
By audition, at the instructor's discretion.


Open to Lang/Jazz BA/BFA students.

Open to School of Jazz & Contemp Music students.


Open to Undergraduate students.