Every year the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Izzies) are held in San Francisco to honor achievements in performance for contributions to the dance community, exceptional performance, choreography, design, and musical composition. In this year’s awards ceremony, held on March 25 at Z Space in San Francisco, the Department of Music’s CK Ladzekpo was honored with a Sustained Achievement Award.
Ladzekpo, founder and director of the African Music & Dance Ensemble, is a master of Ghanian music. He has been a lead drummer and instructor with the Ghana National Dance Ensemble, Insititute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, and the Art’s Council of Ghana. In 1973 Ladzekpo took leave from his position at the University of Ghana to join the UC Berkeley faculty for one year. Generations of students have been privileged to experience the fusion of a music ensemble course and African dance course under the hand of Ladzekpo. For four decades he has remained director of the African Music Ensemble and has brought the program to new heights, with overflowing enrollments each semester.
In addition to his work at UC Berkeley, he has been the artistic director of the Mandeleo Institute in Oakland since 1986. The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards committee has heralded him “an influential catalyst of the African perspective in the performing arts throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.”