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Dance, Music, Literary, Visual Arts


About the Artist

Shabutaso began as a family ensemble in 1985, performing, teaching, and creating African art. In 2010, Founders Mama and Baba Shabu re-located to West Africa to build a cultural center and artisan’s workshop on a 10-acre farm in Liberia. Their children, multi-instrumentalists Mabinti and Teli, are modern-day griots continuing the legacy of their elders. 

The Griot’s Gourd is a performance with storytelling instruments made from gourds. Through both traditional and original melodies, singing and dancing, Shabutaso’s modern-day griots make connections between West Africa and North Carolina. Audiences are invited on stage to become part of the magic. Students will see, hear, and know for themselves that there is much more to Africa than just drums.

Grade LevelsK-12
Maximums500, 1 hour, 3/day
Special Populations

Autism, at risk

Technical Requirements

A cleared, open area with wooden dance floor or equivalent; space dimensions minimum back-stage dressing area, bottled waters and light refreshments, at least one hour access before we begin

Total Fee1 performance- $990 / 2 performances (same day and same school)- $1,266
School Portion1 performance- $495 / 2 performances (same day and same school)- $633

Safari Ngoma is a multi-disciplinary arts residency, where students take a journey through the world of Aftican drums, dance, and textile design. Shabutaso’s Ngoma concept “a rhythmic thread connects all the arts; all the arts are one” is the traditional and organic integration of several African art forms through the unifiTing force of rhythm. Math, social studies, language arts, and character education are reinforced through art-making. Students experience three art disciplines rolled into one residency giving students and teachers memorable art and curriculum connections accessible to them for a lifetime.

Grade Levels3-12
Maximums30, 3/day
Special Populations

Autism, at risk

Total Fee$1,180
School Portion$394


  • Denise Hall, Gallberry Farm Elementary School, 910-424-1490
  • Nataki McClain, Durham Academy, 919-489-3400 ext. 2306