EVENT ALERT: Soumu Brings West Africa to Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville Musician: Adama Dembele (Photo: Special to the Citizen-times Margaret Hester)

Asheville Musician: Adama Dembele (Photo: Special to the Citizen-times Margaret Hester)

Because not everyone can make it to a West African party, there’s the Asheville Soumu. The celebration of West African food, music and dancing happens Friday evening at New Mountain AVL. It was rescheduled from its original February date due to inclement weather.

The inaugural Soumu in 2013 served as a fundraiser for local djembe player Adama Dembele, a transplant from the Ivory Coast, who was looking for financial support to get his green card.

Now in its third year, the tradition continues as Dembele strives to recreate the type of party he might have back home with the help of his band, Zansa. Money raised this year benefits Dembele’s family and their village. He reports their homes and music center were destroyed by the government in January.

This event starts at dinnertime so attendees can eat and families can benefit from the rich cultural program. Food comes courtesy of Soce’s African Cuisine. Drum demos and dance performances by two different troupes, La’Ney West African Dance Troupe and Zabumba Brazilian dancers, along with performances by Africa Unplugged and Zansa, follow.


What: 3rd annual Soumu

Where: New Mountain Asheville, 38 N. French Broad Ave.

When: March 20. Dinner served at 6 p.m., event continues until 11 p.m.

Tickets: $12 in advance and $15 at the door with half-priced tickets for children younger than 12. Admission for children younger than 5 is free. Tickets atwww.ashevillesoumu.com. A portion of the proceeds raised at Soumu will benefit Dembele’s family in Abobo, Ivory Coast. More on that story at www.igg.me/at/adama

Source:Emily Patrick, epatrick@citizen-times.com|Citizen-Times.com

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