About Nii Ardey |

Nii Ardey (“Nii” is a Ga Tribe Honorific) is a Master Drummer and Dancer, and teacher of dancing, drumming and singing of Ghana, West Africa.

Since coming to the Northwest in 1988, Nii Ardey has continued performing with his traditional Ghanaian group Kaagba Ohenaa. In addition, he teaches African Drumming and African Dancing to adults at the Multnomah Art Center in SW Portland. He shares his culture, music and dance with children in the schools of Oregon and Southwest Washington through the Young Audiences and the Arts in Education programs.

In addition to these activities, Nii Ardey is also a recording artist. His newest CD/Cassette, “Namo Dzibo,” includes all the spirit and passion of traditional Ghanaian music with a more contemporary flavor of the songs composed by Nii Ardey. It’s available locally at Anansi Beat and other music shops. We can ship cassettes and CD’s anywhere.

CURRENT PERFORMING AND TEACHING

Founder and Leader of “Kaagba Ohenaa” performing group.

“Kaagba Ohenaa,” is a group of dancers and drummers performing traditional Ghanaian music and dance, based in Portland, Oregon. Major performances: Ghana Freedom Day, Multnomah Art Center, Salem Kaleidoscope, Northwest Service Center, Gresham Multicultural Festival, United Nations Folk Festival, Kwansa Celebration (Federal Correctional Institution), Children’s Museum, Mercy Corp International Benefit. 1992-present.

Artist with Young Audiences and Arts in Education

Master Teacher of traditional West African dancing and drumming, to beginning, intermediate and advanced classes of all age groups. Nii Ardey has taught classes for children and adults at schools, churches and other organizations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. 1988-present.

CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS AND TOURING

Lead Dancer/Drummer/Instructor

Member of Obo Addy’s “Okropong,” a group performing traditional Ghanaian dance and drumming, and “Kukrudu” an African “high life” band, both based in Portland, Oregon. Frequent performances throughout the Western United States. 1988-92.

Dancer/Drummer/Instructor

“Odadaa!” group led by Yacub Addy in Alexandria, Virginia. Major performances: Smithsonian Institute, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Tours of Puerto Rico, Japan, New Orleans, Memphis. 1983-88.

Lead Dancer/Drummer/Instructor.

Arts Council of Ghana, Accra, Ghana. Performed as lead dancer and drummer with cultural troupe around Ghana and adjoining countries; taught both dancing and drumming, including teaching deaf students in Mampong, Ghana; studied the culture, dance and music of the many regions of Ghana; performed regularly on television. 1979-83.

Lead Dancer/Drummer

Ghana Cultural Ballet, Accra, Ghana. Major performances: Tours of the U.S.S.R., East Germany, Benin and Liberia. 1978-83.

Dancer/Drummer

Tehma Beshe Cultural Group, Accra, Ghana. 1975-76.

Dancer/Drummer

“Odehe” performing group, Accra, Ghana. Major performances: Tour of Romania, Rome and Yugoslavia. 1973-78.

“Nii Ardey Allotey and his performing troupe Ekome (which means ‘unity’) invite the audience to experience the multi-layered rhythms of drums, bells, shakers, and voices as they become part of a joyful celebration of the unique culture of Ghana, West Africa. With colorful native costumes and authentic, handmade instruments, these dancers and drummers bring to life the language, folktales and rich traditions of the Ghanaian people through song, movement, call-and-response and lively games from the region. The captivating performance emphasizes the unity of all peoples.” (Young Audiences)

“Nobody can shake it like Nii Ardey Allotey!! And nothing can get the audience on their feet like the authentic African drums of his group, beating out the rhythm, while his African dancers mesmerize the audience with their grace and agility!”