Musician Okaidja Afroso to Return to Pendleton for Performance on April 3

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Okaidja Afroso will perform at the Pendleton Center for the Arts on Wednesday, April 3. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Monet Photography)

When Okaidja Afroso last played the Pendleton Center for the Arts, almost a decade ago, he was already known for his spirited Ghanaian music with diverse cross-cultural influences.

Since that time, his star has risen dramatically, earning him praise and recognition, including being presented with the prestigious Joan Shipley Award from the Oregon Arts Commission in 2021.

Afrosa will take the stage at PCA on Wednesday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Born into a family of musicians and storytellers in the village of Kokrobite, he began his career as a dancer with the acclaimed Ghana Dance Ensemble. Touring internationally, Okaidja was enabled to expand his own artistic influences, becoming a praiseworthy multi-instrumentalist and arranger.

Afroso is a dynamic vocalist, a gifted multi-instrumentalist, and an exultant dancer. He cites Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin, Johnny Cash, Sting, and Lokua Kanza as his greatest musical inspirations. His personal story is woven through his work and allows him to connect with audiences in a powerful way.

Funding from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and Drs. Dan and Connie Marier has made the Pendleton performance possible.

“Without the additional WESTAF funding, which helps to bring musicians to rural communities, we could never have a musician of Okaidja’s caliber on our stage,” said PCA executive director Roberta Lavadour. “He has lots of opportunities to perform, and we’re just delighted he wanted to come back to Eastern Oregon to share his music and culture with us.”

Tickets for the show are $15 and available at PendletonArts.org or by calling 541-278-9201. A small number of tickets will be available at the door.

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