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Music Around Town

African Soul International in Akron

When: Sat., Feb. 18 2012

When members of African Soul International take the stage tonight at the Akron Civic’s Festival of Nations, they’ll be just one ingredient in a cultural banquet that includes German, Latin, Chinese, Russian, and Celtic dance troupes. But don’t be surprised if the zesty, Cleveland-based company proves to be the standout flavor. Founded in 1998 by educator, artist, and choreographer Sista Jewel Jackson, the multi-ethnic, multi-generational company performs its repertoire of authentic West African dances in schools, colleges, and cultural institutions around the region — usually to uproarious response. “There’s just something about the drums and the energy of the dance that really gets to everyone,” says troupe member Victoria Putnam. “It’s incredibly technical, incredibly beautiful, and the response is usually amazing!” Besides the international dance performances, tonight’s cultural exchange includes a sampling of foods from around the globe and a variety of hands-on activities. Come at 6 p.m. for the food and fun; the show begins at 6:50 p.m. Adult admission is $8 in advance and $10 at the door; kids between 3 and 12 are $5, and those 2 and younger are free. Learn more at the website.