Film screening: African Maestro: the life and works of J. H. Kwabena Nketia

On 16 February 2017, the World Music Center at UCLA, Department of Ethnomusicology, Herb Alpert School of Music, presented the California premiere of African Maestro: the life and works of J. H Kwabena Nketia, a new documentary film produced and directed by Ghanaian filmmaker Anita Afonu.  The event was hosted by UCLA Professor Emeritus Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje.  Filmmaker Anita Afonu generously donated a DVD of the film to the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive.

The documentary explores the life and works of ethnomusicologist and composer J.H. Kwabena Nketia (b. 1921). Considered a "living legend," the UCLA professor emeritus is one of the most influential scholars of African music, African studies, and ethnomusicology. This multi-dimensional portrayal of Nketia reveals the stories and inspirations behind his most popular compositions and the human qualities that have contributed to his musical genius and scholarship.


Trailer for African Maestro

We wanted to share some images from the screening.

(l-r)  Elliott Carter, Professor Helen Rees, Professor A.J. Racy, Jonathan Carter, Professor Eddie Meadows, Professor Henrietta Carter, Professor Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje

African Maestro screening, Professor Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, host

African Maestro screening, Professor Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, host



Prof. J.H. Kwabena Nketia Presentation in Ethnomusicology 202: Current Issues in Ethnomusicology, Prof. A.J. Racy, February 1, 2000

If you would like more information about Nketia, watch his oral history interviews, conducted by Jacqueline Cogdell Djedje.  The interviews begin with Nketia's first visits to UCLA and his assessment of the ethnomusicology program and faculty during the early 1960s. It continues with a general discussion of the evolution of the field of African ethnomusicology internationally, and with the establishment of the University of Ghana International Centre for African Music and Dance. Nketia recounts his childhood experiences in Ghana, his early exposure to both traditional Ghanaian and Western music and culture, and his education in Ghana and in England. Nketia also discusses his own research and compositions. Includes lectures by Nketia, as well as several of his compositions.

If you would like to learn about about filmmaker Anita Afonu.

Spotlight On: Anita Afonu

Maiden documentary on Prof JHK Nketia slated for September

Ghana’s Mozart: African Maestro J. H. Kwabena Nketia

Anita Afonu: Preserving Ghana's Cinematic Treasures

Moving Africa: Anita Afonu

Filmmaker battles to save Ghana’s historic cinema

(And thanks to Aaron Bittel for the images of the screening!)

Screening Images--Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)



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