New Hampshire
Profile Type: Artist
NEFA Grant Recipient
Akwaaba Ensemble

The Akwaaba Traditional African Drum and Dance Ensemble was formed in 2002 by Theo Martey, bringing together a group of friends who have been playing music, drumming and dancing together for many years in Ghana and the United States.The Akwaaba Ensemble's energetic and engaging performances are a reflection of their name, which means 'welcome' in the Twi language of the Ashanti tribe of Ghana. At each performance the Ensemble brings West African "Highlife Music", drumming and dance to vivid life, holding sway with the rich and subtle rhythmic patterns and styles specific to different tribal groups of West Africa. The Ensemble has toured internationally and performed in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Ireland and United Kingdom. During our tours, we taught and gave workshops to students in dozens of schools around the globe, We now resides in Manchester New Hampshire doing residencies in the schools, Drumming and Dancing workshop in the community, collaborating and performing with other musicians.

Additional Links: 
Akwaaba Traditional African Drum and Dance Ensemble in Bedford, NH 12-5
Akwaaba African Drumming and Dance Ensemble (2012 Heritage Festival)
Akwaaba Ensemble performance at the Multicultural Event at Saint Anselm College in Manchester New Hampshire
Akwaaba Ensemble, Kpanlogo Dance and Fume Fume Yamama
Theo Martey and The Akwaaba Ensemble performed the Fume Fume Dance at the Rhode Island College in Providence Rhode Island.
Akwaaba Traditional African Drum and Dance Ensemble performing the Fume Fume/Yamama Dance Choreographed by Theo Martey
Sakyi Drumming and Dance was choreographed by Theo Martey and performed with Randy Armstrong and the Phillips Exeter Academy Student at the Fisher Theater for their Spring Dance Concert on 5/26-28/2017.
During the fall 2012 semester, students had the opportunity to study African dance and drumming from Theo Martey, founder of the Akwaaba Ensemble. The class and this performance was funded by "Cultural Stages: The Woodward International Drama and Dance.

I Have Worked With

  • March 2017

    Theo Martey led a one day Artist in residency on March 21 for Pre-K through 4th graders at the Webster Elementary School, every student was able to participate during the residncy in both drumming, dancing and singing.  The residency end with a culminating performance for the whole school while the students performed for the peers.

  • February 2017

    Theo Martey and The Akwaaba Ensemble performed a series of rhythm, dances and songs on February 3rd in the Conant Gallery at the Lawrence Academy in Groton Massachusetts. The performance was energetic, students and audience participation was the best part of the event and everybody had a great time. 

  • April 2016

    Activity: Theo Martey led a drumming and music workshop for second grade students, followed by a high energy drumming and dancing performance by the Akwaaba Ensemble for families at The Community Art Center in Cambridge. The performance was interective with audience participation in a call and responds songs and dance movement.   


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Musician and Director
Mailing Address: 
94 Ray Street
Manchester, NH 03104
Physical Address: 
Manchester, NH 03104
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Music - Ethnic / World
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - Ethnic
Dance - Traditional
Music - General
Music - Band
Music - Ethnic / World
Music - Orchestral
Music - Traditional
Theater - General
Theater - Solo / One-Person Show
Theater - Storytelling
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
Immigrant Populations
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Performing Groups
Activities and Services: 
Arts in Healthcare
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Performance / Concert / Reading
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Residency - Production / Development
Residency - Other
Wedding / Parties / Private Gatherings
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region
Multi-State Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire
New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
New England Foundation for the Arts
Accra Royal High
New England Dance Fund Grantee/Alum Network 2017 and 2018
Theo Martey and The Akwaaba Ensemble won the Best of New Hampshire Magazine NH 2010 African Beat Award.
Theo Martey and The Akwaaba Ensemble has receive numerous grants from the NH State Art Council since 2004 to current, to run Artist in Residency programs in the schools
Theo Martey and The shidaa cultural group, placed second during the tradional folk music in Accra art center in March 1996.
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient
I am on the following State Arts Agency Roster(s): 
New Hampshire Education Roster
New Hampshire Traditional Arts Roster

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
4 Vocal mics, 6 instruments mics and direct Amplification plug in
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: 
State of Residence: 
New Hampshire
Minimum Number of Performers: 
Maximum Number of Performers: 

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Afterschool Program
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Community Site / Center
Corporate Business
Healthcare Facility
Private Studio
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - English as a Second Language
Arts Integration - Foreign Languages
Arts Integration - Health
Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age