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Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, Vol.3

Eleanor Alberga, Laurindo Almeida, Vindu André, Kwabena Nketia Bangambula, Valerie Capers, Wallace Cheatham, Robert Nathaniel Dett, Halim El-Dabh, Akin Euba, Ulysses Kay, Robert Kwami, Kwabena Nketia, Nkeiru Okoye, Christian Onyeji, Alain-Pierre Pradel, Florence Price, Amadeo Roldán Y Gardes, Isak Roux, Hale Smith, Joshua Uzoigwe, John Wesley Work III


World Premiere Recordings



"William Chapman Nyaho has done more than anyone else I know to promote piano music by African composers... Nyaho’s set of 3 albums: Senku, Asa and the latest instalment Kete, of piano music of Africa and the African diaspora is just essential... William Chapman Nyaho also compiled a five volume anthology entitled Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, also totally essential. Warning: These albums are gateways to seriously deep rabbit holes."
Elizabeth de Brito, The Daffodil Perspective [March 2021]
"I'm honored to interview him for No Dead Guys and to have his friendship, humor and nobility in my life... [Nyaho is] one of the most natural (and charismatic) pianists I’ve ever worked with or had the privilege of watching perform."
Rhonda Rizzo, No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog [April 2020]
"the works here are optimistic, tuneful and and performed with an earnest and infectious generosity.Styles vary, but the album stands as a cohesive tapestry of vibrant colors."
Jason Sifford, Piano Magazine [Spring 2021]
"The selections are all short character pieces, allegro or slower, and of moderate difficulty at most. Nyaho matches their simplicity with a transparent tone and restrained approach... Just glorious."
Estep, American Record Guide [September/October 2020]
"This recording, together with the published collection of scores, is a welcome addition to the resources available to teachers and young students. The pieces are carefully graded, and the recording brings to life the fascinating sounds of works by composers of African descent that teachers and their students otherwise would not have heard. Future recordings of the works in the remaining volumes will be a welcome addition to this project."
Music Journal, South Africa [September 2020]
"This is a rare and fascinating insight into pedagogical music written by African composers from all over the world... all are skilfully composed and worthy of scrutiny and exposure... The recording is ideal and it seems to me that the performances are faultless."
Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International [September 2020]
"the music is consistently presented in the very best terms, with Nyaho’s warm tone and innate musicality, caught in a fine recording, making the journey a remarkably pleasant one."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine [July/Aug 2020]
"There is plenty to appreciate in the collection... down-to-earth rootedness and brightly energetic engagements... Maestro Nyaho plays all with spirit and commitment. Anyone with an interest in World and African strains in the classical repertoire will appreciate this, as will anyone who simply likes good music."
Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate [June 2020]
"It is easy to find something to enjoy on this disc."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad.cok [July 2020]
"a rewarding recognition and sharing of piano music with an African origin."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [July 2020]


This album consists of music from the first two volumes of Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, which I compiled and edited for Oxford University Press in 2007. Since the publication of the anthology, there has been great demand by piano teachers for recordings of this virtually unknown music. It is my hope that this album of intermediate pieces will be useful to teachers interested in introducing this wonderful piano music by composers of African descent to their students. I invite listeners to go on a musical journey of this delightful music, rich and diverse, from Africa and its diaspora.

I chose the word “Kete” as the title of the album because it has two meanings in the two different cultures from which my parents originate. First, “Kete” is one of the most complex, intricate and highly symbolic dances from the royal courts of the Akan people. “Kete” is also the name of a particularly beautiful fabric of the Ewe people, woven in strips on a loom and then sewn together to create beautiful patterns. This album reflects the weaving together of music by people of African descent, spread across the entire globe.

Gye Nyame! Mawu koe!
William H. Chapman Nyaho [February 2020]

William Chapman Nyaho maintains a diverse and distinguished career as a performer and educator. Chapman Nyaho is an active solo recitalist, duo pianist and chamber musician giving recitals and concerts in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and in cities across the United States, where he advocates music by composers of African descent. He is active as a guest clinician at colleges and universities, and also serves as an adjudicator for national and international piano competitions. Chapman Nyaho has served on national committees for the College Music Society, the Music Teachers’ National Association and the National Endowment for the Arts. His professional experience includes being a North Carolina Visiting Artist and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he held the Heymann Endowed Professorship and was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award. He has served as Visiting Professor of Piano at Colby College in Maine, Artist-in-Residence at Willamette University in Oregon and piano professor at Adamant Music School in Vermont. Chapman Nyaho currently serves on the piano faculty at Pacific Lutheran University as well as on the summer faculty of Interlochen Center for the Arts. A leading advocate for music of Africa and its diaspora, he compiled and edited a five-volume music anthology, Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora (Oxford University Press). Chapman Nyaho studied at Achimota School, Ghana, and went on to earn his degrees from St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester and the University of Texas at Austin. He also studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève in Switzerland. Chapman Nyaho currently runs his private piano studio in Seattle, Washington and teaches students of all levels. His students have been prizewinners at competitions and have been well placed in universities and colleges.
Isak Roux (b.1959) | South Africa
Kwela No.1

Ulysses Kay (1917-1995) | USA
Tender Thought

Hale Smith (1925-2009) | USA
My Scarf is Yellow

Nkeiru Okoye (b.1972) | Nigeria, USA

Robert Kwami (1954-2004) | Ghana
Piano Piece No.2 – Call and Response

Halim El-Dabh (1921-2017) | Egypt

Hale Smith | USA
Off-Beat Shorty

Florence Price (1887-1953) | USA
Ticklin’ Toes

Valerie Capers (b.1935) | USA
Sweet Mister Jelly Roll

Nkeiru Okoye | Nigeria, USA
Dancing Barefoot in the Rain

Isak Roux | South Africa

Valerie Capers | USA
The Monk

André Bangambula Vindu (b.1953) | Congo

Kwabena Nketia (1921-2019) | Ghana
Builsa Work Song

Christian Onyeji (b.1967) | Nigeria
Ufie III

Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995) | Brazil
Lament in Tremolo Form

Ulysses Kay | USA
Invention No.2

Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) | USA, Canada

Joshua Uzoigwe (1946-2005) | Nigeria
Nigerian Dance No.1

Wallace Cheatham (b.1945) | USA
Prelude No.1 “Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho”
Prelude No.2 “Poor Mourner’s Got a Home”

Christian Onyeji | Nigeria

Amadeo Roldán Y Gardes (1900-1939) | Cuba
Preludio Cubano

Florence Price | USA
Silk Hat and Walking Cane

John Wesley Work III (1901-1967) | USA
At a Certain Church

Kwabena Nketia | Ghana
Volta Fantasy

Akin Euba (b.1935) | Nigeria
Igbá Kerin
Igbá Kinní

Alain-Pierre Pradel (b.1949) | Guadeloupe
Pomme Cannelle

Halim El-Dabh | Egypt
Nim Nawakht

Eleanor Alberga (b.1949) | Jamaica
If the Silver Bird Could Speak

MSR Classics
Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, …


Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, …