Event Archives

Black Atlantic:
Okaidja Afroso
Ghana/USA &
Lakou Mizik

Duke Performances is excited to present our Virtual season – The Show Must Go Online! High-quality, commissioned films featuring artists originally slated for in-person performances will premiere on Vimeo for ticket holders. Each film, shot following local safety protocols, is made in collaboration with an audio and video crew in each artist’s home city. 

General admission tickets are $10 per presentation and Duke Student tickets are available free of charge through the support of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts at Duke University. The ‘Black Atlantic’ package — which is available at a discount of 25% off for $22.50 — provides access to all three ‘Black Atlantic’ double feature presentations, including performances by Okaidja Afroso & Lakou Mizik, Natu Camara & Edmar Castañeda, and Jane Bunnett and Maqueque & 3MA. Tickets go off sale at 8 PM ET on the day of the presentation. Ticket buyers will receive a unique Vimeo link to watch the presentation online from the Duke University Box Office before the listed start time. Films will be available for viewing for 72 hours.


Okaidja Afroso weaves together cross-cultural influences to create hypnotic sonic landscapes. His unique artistic vision has led him to combine his native rhythms with unforeseen pairings of musical styles. A multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and dancer, Afroso hails from a family of musicians and storytellers from the fishing village of Kokrobite on Ghana’s west coast. His career started at the age of 19, as a principal dancer with the Ghana Dance Ensemble and he later worked as a traditional dancer and musician with Okropong, led by the late worldbeat master Obo Addy. In his twenty-five years of touring and performing internationally, Okaidja has performed in diverse venues spanning the globe- from small fishing villages in the Canadian Arctic to the Kennedy Center in New York City. He has also spent countless hours in classrooms across the US, teaching children about Ghanaian culture through his educational outreach programs.

Often performed in his native language, Afroso’s genre-defying songs convey a whole spectrum of experiences—joy, harmony, tragedy, and hope—that embrace what he calls “the rich complexity of the integrated world we inhabit.” Through his distinctive style that combines various percussion instruments, vocals, guitar, and dance, Afroso explores the perseverance of ancestral traditions and creates a new, contemporary African oral tradition.

— Jameela F. Dallis


Taken on its own, Lakou Mizik’s sound is a joyous, mystical march that weaves fervent rara horns and driving Vodou drums with call-and-response vocal harmony.

Taken in full picture, it delivers a vital view of Haiti that few outside its borders fully know or appreciate.

The group formed in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake with a mission to reveal the Haiti that the headlines did not. Their antidote empowers and defines a country rich with soulful culture and spirit that radiates when celebrated through song.

Lakou Mizik is a nine-member, multi-generational all-star collective of scholars and innovators of the centuries-old rasin roots tradition — a convergence of African, French, Caribbean and U.S. influence.

Their latest album, HaitaiNola, embraces the historic connection of Afro-Haitian instrumentation to the Crescent City creole of Cajun, zydeco and Dixieland jazz. It’s backed by many of New Orleans’ most iconic musicians, including the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, Cyril Neville, Jon Clearly, Trombone Shorty and The Soul Rebels.

— Joseph Schwartz


  • $10General
  • $0Duke Students
  • Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 8:00pm