4th Annual Soumu Comes to Salvage Station on September 16


Soumu: An African Celebration of Music, Food and Dance

4th Annual Soumu Comes to Salvage Station on September 16

On Friday September 16, Salvage Station will host Asheville's 4th Annual Soumu, presented by Lush Life Productions and Zansa. Free of charge and all ages.

Soumu, which is a West African term for an all encompassing party featuring  music, dance, food, and art began as a fundraiser when in 2011 when Adama Dembele, a 33rd generation West African musician and Asheville favorite, needed financial support to obtain his green card. The community came out in force to a sold out event at the YMI building raising enough money to cover the legal costs, and Adama Dembele now has his permanent green card. 

The tradition continues with new special guests each year as Dembele and his band, Zansa, have kept up this celebration of the culture of his native home in Cote d'Ivoire. This year, Soumu features performances by Les Amis, the Imani School of Dance, Kevin "KalimbaMan" Spears, Zansa, and Adama's student drummers from LEAF. Last year, Soumu raised money to purchase land for a new drum and dance school in Mali, West Africa. This year, proceeds will to go start building the Djembeso Drum & Dance Education Center. 

Traditional African food will be available for purchase by local Chef Soce and attendees can shop in an "African Marketplace" of native wares. Also, this year, children can create African art in our kids craft area. There will also be surprise guest performances by drummers, dancers, and musicians.

Fri. Sept. 16
Salvage Station
468 Riverside Dr. 
Asheville, NC 28801


Performances Begin and Market Opens at 5pm
Dinner Available for purchase and Served at 6:00pm
Free Admission; Open to the Public
All ages

About the Performers


Kevin "KalimbaMan" SpearsConsidered by many as one of the best kalimba players alive today,
Kevin Spears musical gifts have astounded audiences around the world
and rewritten what is possible on the traditional African musical instrument called

"Kevin Spears puts on a performance full of groove, sound and intimacy
that draws you into his unique yet universal world" -Benoit Glazer
musical director Cirque Du SOLEIL

The music of Zansa, a Nouchi slang word from Ivory Coast meaning "combination" or "blend," is a synthesis of traditional and modern styles of West Africa. The Asheville, NC-based ensemble melds African folk music with modern afropop, African drumming, and the dance-oriented Ivorian street music called Zouglou.

Zansa is led by 33rd generation West African musician Adama Dembele, a native of Ivory Coast, who began his music career in the late '90s by founding the drum & dance group Djembeso. He adapted traditional songs and rhythms, eventually molding them into his own style. After moving to Asheville, NC in 2005, Dembele has continued to develop and expand his sound, now singing in multiple languages- French, Baoule, Bambara, and English.

Today, Zansa is taking those traditional African songs and rhythms and incorporating Western instruments, such as electric guitar, violin, bass, and drum set, offering a wide range of sonic possibilities. The music is rooted in the West African drumming tradition Dembele was born into and blended with a modern approach, lending familiarity to foreign sounds. The result is an original take on the authentic music of West Africa.

Les Amis:
Les Amis is live dance band made up of people who like to play traditional-based West African – Ivory Coast and Malian- dance music for people to dance to. It's West African street music, you dig?

Les Amis is an Asheville NC based Live Dance Band made up of some people who live in Asheville. When these people play music together they generally play their rendition of West African – Ivory Coast Traditional Dance Music. These people also play music with other people. Two of them play music with a band called Toubab Krewe. Two of them play music with a band called Zansa. 
One of them plays with the a band called the AED (Asheville Ecstatic Dance) Ensemble. Together we are Les Amis (The Friends).

They play music together and we are Friends. Sometimes other people play music with Us. These people are called "the friends" as well. You might remember that from a French class or some International Film you saw that the words Les Amis are French for “The Friends”. All of these people like to get together and play live dance music for other people to dance to and with the music they make. 

Imani School of Dance

West African drum and dance troupe based just over the border in SC, this group features performers of all ages from all over the region.