Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble

...has been invited to appear at our 2021 festival but has not yet been confirmed. Stay tuned!

Kulu Mele: a montage of four images showing a costumed male dancer, a male drummer, a swirling group of female dancers, and several dancers posing in leopard-skin patterned costumes.

Photo Credit

Jaci Downs

Kulu Mele is deeply committed to maintaining African based traditions; it invites audiences into the beauty, mystery and glamour of the true African aesthetic.”–Janet Anderson, Broad Street Review

Inspired by the voices of its ancestors, Kulu Mele preserves, presents and perpetuates the traditional dance and music of West Africa and the African Diaspora, and celebrates contemporary African American culture. 

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kulu Mele has been a highly regarded cultural institution in the Delaware Valley for 50 years.  Kulu Mele’s performance repertoire features authentic, traditional dance and drumming from West Africa, Cuba and the African Diaspora, as well as contemporary American hip hop.  Kulu Mele performs year-round throughout Philadelphia and tours nationally and internationally.  

Kulu Mele has performed at some of world’s most prestigious performing arts venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Hall at The Los Angeles Music Center.  In September, 2015, Kulu Mele performed as part of the official entertainment during the Philadelphia visit of Pope Francis.    Founded in 1969 by Baba Robert Crowder, Kulu Mele has been led by artistic director Dorothy Wilkie for more than 30 years.