For over 25 years Dante Mitchell, an accomplished West African percussionist, has performed in main-stage plays and productions and at various festivals and schools around the United States and Africa. Following a trip to Senegal, West Africa with Master drummer Youssou Lo in 1999, Dante developed a powerful appreciation and love for West African culture and music. Since then, he has used his immense musical knowledge and talents to perform, teach, preserve, and cultivate an awareness of the rich cultural heritage and musical traditions of West Africa through “edutainment” (education and entertainment).
Beginning his musical education with noted percussionist Baba Eric Rucker in 1990, Dante has studied and performed with many internationally acclaimed master drummers: Youssou Lo, Mamady Keita, Dr. Djo Bi, Aboubacar “Oscar” Camara, Fode Moussa Camara, Fadouba Oulare, Yamoussa Camara. Aboubacar “Amo” Soumah, Amara Mansare, Moha Dosso, and Fode Bangoura.
In 2006 he was asked to be the Musical Director for Dr. Chuck Davis dance company in North Carolina where they performed and toured for seven years with the African American Dance Ensemble (AADE). He has also performed alongside Master Dancer Kadiatou Conte, founder of Balafon West African Dance Ensemble.
More recently, Dante served as the Lead percussionist for Alvin Ailey Miami for the past 4 years. Today, he continues to travel África to study and share his musical talents and passion for the cultural arts with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He currently teaches K-12th grade music for Propel Charter School, along with being a Professional Teaching Artist for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.