Diamano Coura West African Dance Company
In the Senegalese language Wolof, diamano coura means “those who bring the message.” For more than three decades that’s exactly what Oakland’s Diamano Coura West African Dance Company has been doing, through performances, lectures, and youth programs. Codirectors Zak and Naomi Diouf prize culture over entertainment – rather than present a vision of dance that is separate from other arts, they emphasize that singing and polyrhythmic movement can be vital presences within everyday life. This year’s annual repertory show manifests African dance’s past, present, and future. (Johnny Ray Huston)
8 p.m. (also Sun/26, 3 p.m.)
Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts
1428 Alice, Oakl.
West African Highlife Band
While a lot of African music is mainly rhythm driven, highlife is largely melodic, incorporating jazzy horns and intricate yet laid-back guitar lines. The West African Highlife Band is a veritable all-star group of musicians who have been a crucial part of the West African scene for decades, touring and recording with greats such as Fela Kuti, Hugh Masekela, and King Sunny Ade. Come at 9 p.m. for an African dance lesson with Comfort Mensah. (Aaron Sankin)
1317 San Pablo, Berk.
$15 general, $12 student