It was Leopold Senghor who once wrote: "It is not in the tradition of many African cultures to make art for the sake of art; instead, each image, poem, and song shares a deeper message or lifelong lesson."
Asempa is Yale's first and only African singing group founded in 2005. Unfortunately, the fire of Asempa burned out, but the legacy was indelible.
In the fall of 2009, a group of friends had an idea to sing as part of the annual Africa Week benefit showcase. What these friends did not realize was that they had begun the rebirth of the singing group that had once existed. Following the Africa Week showcase, people began asking if the old group was making a come-back. Not knowing what Asempa had been, the friends investigated and soon found out that Asempa had represented something that they wanted to carry on. And so Asempa was reincarnated as Asempa!.
So after years of silence, the band regrouped in 2009. The group's repertoire is rooted strictly in music of the African experience, a tradition that until the emergence of Asempa! had not established itself amongst Yale's singing community. Drawing on the rich ethnic and musical backgrounds of its members, Asempa! strives to explore and perform substantive, cultural music. Our aim is to celebrate and promote African culture through music; we seek to give voice, through song, to the vast collection of human stories and experiences in this region and across the world.
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