New Hampshire
Profile Type: Artist
Theo Martey

Theophilus (Theo) Nii Martey is a songwriter, recording artist, choreographer, performer and teacher originally from Accra Ghana, West Africa. He is a master of West African drumming and dance, a heritage that has many subtle variations in rhythmic patterns, dance styles, and colorful costumes all specific to a wide diversity of tribal groups from the region. Theo started his drumming and dancing studies at a young age, performing with various ensembles, including the Dance Factory Company at the National Theater of Ghana, one of the most sought-after performance ensembles in Ghana.


When in London in 2000-2002, he performed with the Brekete Drum and Dance Ensemble. While touring, Martey formulated the idea to create the Akwaaba Ensemble. 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 drumming, music and dance to vivid life, holding sway with the rich and subtle rhythmic patterns and styles specific to different tribal groups of West Africa. Theo and the Akwaaba Ensemble dubbed their first Album AKWAABA WELCOME HOME in 2008. Theo dubbed his first solo Album JEI ELAAJE WO (LOST IN THE WORLD) in 2012.

In addition to his on stage experience, Theo is an accomplished teacher of African drumming and dance and has received numerous grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts to teach school residencies, workshops and performances in dozens of schools all over New England. He has performed and taught worldwide, including teaching West African Drumming and Dance for credit  as an Adjunt professor at UNH in Durham. He has collaborated with Randy Armstrong world fusion Ensemble, Steve Ferraris Root System, Dan Perkins and the Manchester Choral Society for the Zulu Mass and Christmas Tapestry project and New Hampshire Theatre Project for the Dreaming Again. Theo currently teaches drumming and dance for adults at Murphy's Boxing Gymnasium and leads a dance class at the Studio 550 Art Center in Manchester, NH.

I Have Worked With

  • December 2019

    Theo Martey and the Akwaaba Ensemble perform an energetic drumming and dancing performance for the Kwanzaa Celebration host by the Black Students Union at University of New Hampshire in Durham.

  • October 2019

    Theo Martey and the Akwaaba Ensemble perform a high enrgy Drumming, Dancing and Music performance at the Next Stage Arts Project at Putney Vermont. We had a warm and enthusiasm audience who were engaged through the whole an hour and half perfomance and they had the opportunity to join us on stage to participate in an easy dance steps and call and repond songs.

  • May 2019

    Theo Martey led a one week long Artist in Residency program at the Amherst  Street Elementary School in Nashua New Hapshire. The students learn about African Culture rhythms, dances and songs which they get to perform for the culmintating event for the whole school and their parents for the finale.


  • Artist

Contact Information

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


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Music - Ethnic / World
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - Ethnic
Dance - Traditional
Music - Band
Music - Ethnic / World
Music - Traditional
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
Immigrant Populations
Incarcerated (or Formerly Incarcerated) Individuals
Native American Tribes
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts in Healthcare
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Community Arts
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 Hapmshire
New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
New England Foundation for the Arts
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 has receive numerous grants from the NH State Council on the Arts since 2004 to current, to run Artist in Residency programs in the schools and the community.
Theo Martey and The shidaa cultural group, placed second during the tradional folk music competition in Accra art center in March 1996.
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: 
1 vocal mic and 2 intrument mics
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