Make Music Winter, Thursday, Dec. 21

West African Fête

Join in a celebration of jubilant sounds and rhythms hailing from West African in a parade through the heart of the West Village. The parade will be led by the actors, dancers, drummers and African traditional musicians that star in the forthcoming musical “Broken Chains” at Lang’s Theater at Hunter College, directed by Abdou R. Mbacke. Traditional African instruments including balafon, kora, flutes and djembes will form the core of the parade, so bring along your own instrument to join in the fun.

Arrive no later than 12:00 PM to the parade’s departure spot in front of Joe’s Pub,  425 Lafayette Street.

Bring your own traditional West African and/or percussion instrument to play along, or just show up to join the dancers! If you know ahead of time that you will be participating, please send an email with the subject line “Fete” to so that we know to expect you.


Parade organizer Abdou R. Mbacke is a pianist/composer featured on a dozen albums who has performed with multiple esteemed African artists, including Super Diamono de Dakar, Senegal. His theater credits include writer, producer and director of Bebenen Yone at the Theater for the New City and writer, producer and director of Broken Chains, premiering at the Ida K. Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College, on February 10, 2018.  Film credits include Wanted: African Musicians and the documentary Franco the Great, An Artist in Harlem. He lectures on traditional African music at CCNY, NYU and BMCC and on African percussion at Lycee Francais.

ABOUT JOE’S PUB:Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe’s Pub at The Public opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub presents the best in live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. The organization also offers unique opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that provides musicians the resources and tools needed to develop original theater works. Commissioned artists have included Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Bridget Everett, Allen Toussaint and more.

In 2011, the Pub received a top-to-bottom renovation, leading to improved sightlines, expanded seating capacity and a new menu from acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents talent from all over the world as part of The Public’s programming downtown at its Astor Place home, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually.

Illustration by Kyle Lambert of Callout Creative