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African Gyil and Percussion Ensemble Performance

African Gyil and Percussion Ensemble

Music and Performing Arts Professions Ensembles

The NYU African Gyil and Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Valerie Naranjo (Saturday Night Live and The Lion King), studies and performs traditional African music for percussion and voice. Perhaps the most unique element of the NYU African Gyil and Percussion Ensemble is its performance on gyil. Although gyils are traditionally played solo or in pairs (with non-pitched percussion instruments), the ensemble encourages its members to experience the gyil art in an academic setting, by sharing the musical "workload.”

Who Can Register

The NYU African Gyil and Percussion Ensemble is open to all NYU students (by required audition only).

Audition Information

African Gyil and Percussion Ensemble is an intensive that polishes West African-style solo and ensemble skills, voice, and dance designed for serious percussion students with previous experience. There is a required audition for non-percussion majors (held during the first week of classes each semester). This ensemble is not intended for beginners or hobbyists; to schedule your audition or if you have further questions about whether this ensemble is appropriate for your skill level, please contact Sean Statser ( before registering.

Course Meeting Time

MPAPS-UE 1131.004
MPAPS-GE 2131.004


Kpanlogo - Contemporary Ga, Ghana

For kpanlogo drums, bells, bass drums, voice, and dance.

Yaa Yaa Kole - Sisala, Ghana/Cote D'Ivoire

For gyil, kuar, and dance.

Kuku - Guinea

For djembe and dun-dun. 

Photo by Marc Akiyama

Contact Information

Valerie Naranjo, Director