Masankho Banda to perform at Lotus Firebay and on IU Bloomington’s campus! As a Lotus Blossoms artist this spring, Masankho will give several public performances, in addition to a packed schedule of workshops and performances at other locations.
April 4 · Lotus Firebay · 7- 8 p.m. (Reserve on Eventbrite)
April 5 · IU School of Education Atrium · 12 – 1 p.m.
April 6 · IU First Thursdays, Lawn of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, sponsored by IU African Studies Program · 5 – 6 p.m
Performance artist, educator, spiritual healer, and peacebuilder, Malawi-based Masankho Banda brings the traditions of interactive storytelling, drumming, singing, and dancing to life. Forced to flee Malawi in the late 1980s, due to the actions of a brutal dictatorship, Masankho started Ucandanc African Healing Arts in 1997 to bring his passion for dance and storytelling to communities around the world. Masankho (which means to choose) seeks to bring peace, social justice, and cultural understanding to communities throughout the world through the arts and, for over a decade, has given his time and talents to Bread & Roses, a nonprofit bringing inspiration to communities in San Francisco through music, stories, and dance. He received the prestigious Unsung Hero award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2001 because of his inspiring peacebuilding efforts. #lotusindiana#lotusblossoms#lotusfest#culturaleducation#globalarts#visitbtown
2023 Lotus Blossoms Artists
Our selected Lotus Blossoms artists offer a unique combination of high caliber artistic skills, teaching expertise, and ability to serve as inspiring ambassadors for their cultural traditions. More information about each artist will be available on the Lotus website in the coming weeks, on our study guide page.
Kuniko Yamamoto (Japan/US) | March 20 – 22
Kuniko Yamamoto enchants audiences of every age with dramatic storytelling using myths and fables from ancient and modern Japan, spiced with social revelations to educate and amuse. Kuniko uses traditional Japanese music, handcrafted masks, stylized movement, and a touch of magic to create an artistic balance of illusion and reality. For younger children, Japanese Storytelling with Origami uses folded paper animals and faces, which come alive in folk tales. Every program encourages audience interaction and participation, with each narrative carefully selected for cultural and moral perspectives. Trained in dance and traditional arts in her native Osaka, Japan, Kuniko has lived in Florida since 1992.
IU’s African American Dance Company (US) | March 23 – 24
Since 1974, Indiana University’s African American Dance Company (AADC) has shared movement traditions and diverse dance forms of the African diaspora and African American culture with audiences in Indiana and across the globe. Directed by Stafford C. Berry Jr., the company’s repertoire includes original choreography of African dance styles, contemporary, modern, jazz, hip-hop, and various cultural forms. AADC is one of three performing ensembles managed by the African American Arts Institute and a credit-bearing course offered through the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University Bloomington.
Tadhg & Joanna (Ireland/US) | March 27 – 29
Joanna Hyde (fiddle, vocals) and Tadhg Ó Meachair (accordion, piano) share a passion for Irish traditional music, and for American folk music rooted in Celtic traditions. Their performances strike a balance between the ballads found across both sides of the Atlantic and the respective instrumental music traditions of these places. US-born Joanna has played (and studied) Irish music since childhood and has played with the Hydes and One for the Foxes. She has gathered many awards along the way, including the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Graduate Arts Award, which first brought her to study in Ireland 11 years ago. Born in Ireland, Tadhg grew up speaking Gaelic; he’s an All-Ireland title winner on piano and has played with the bands Goitse and One for the Foxes. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology & Folklore at IU Bloomington.
Masankho Banda (Malawi/US) | April 3 – 7
Performance artist, educator, spiritual healer, and peacebuilder, Malawi-based Masankho Banda brings the traditions of interactive storytelling, drumming, singing, and dancing to life. Masankho, who was forced to flee Malawi in the late 80s due to the actions of a brutal dictatorship, started Ucandanc African Healing Arts in 1997 to bring his passion for dance and storytelling to communities around the world. Masankho (which means to choose) seeks to bring peace, social justice, and cultural understanding to communities throughout the world through the arts and has for the past ten years given his time and talents to Bread & Roses, a nonprofit bringing inspiration to communities in San Francisco through music, stories, and dance. He received the prestigious Unsung Hero award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2001 because of his inspiring peacebuilding efforts.
Nohe & Sus Santos (Honduras/US) | April 10 – 12
Nohe & Sus Santos (Nohe & Her Saints) is a five-piece band mixing Spanish and English vocals with the musical traditions, rhythms and sounds of the Americas, incorporating Alt-Rock en Espanol, Cumbia, Pop grooves, and beyond. They have shared stages with the diverse likes of Ozomatli, Red Pears, Making Movies, and Samantha Fish, delivering a Latinx vibe full of soul, passion, and a good dose of attitude. Featuring musicians from Honduras and the US, Nohe & Sus Santos create songs that do much more than simply cross language and cultural borders. The band explores the multicultural experience of the Latinx generation, delivering positive messages of self-identification and respect for their heritage.