The sights and sounds of Africa fill the air when Paschal Yao Younge, the Ohio Arts Council, 2020 Ohio Heritage Fellowship Awardee, Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow, a multi-talented and interdisciplinary musician, scholar, composer, author, and performer, presents world percussion music and dance forms internationally, focusing on styles from Africa and the African Diaspora. Dr. Younge, Professor of Music at Ohio University, is currently the Executive and Music Director of Azaguno, Inc., a multi-ethnic ensemble based in Athens, Ohio that focuses on research, preservation, and performance of African, African American, Caribbean, and Latin American Music and Dance.
Paschal, the last child of Augustine Kwasiga Younge and Catherine Younge, both musicians. was born at Dzodze, a village in the Volta Region of Ghana. His parents introduced him to western and traditional Ghanaian musical instruments at an early age of 3. It was no surprise that by age 8, Paschal had learned to play the organ and violin, accompanied the church choir with traditional African instruments, and participated in community cultural groups. Throughout his life, Paschal has continued studying and teaching other western musical instruments such as the trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, alto saxophone, and clarinet, and various traditional Ghanaian musical types and instruments. He further expands his understanding and knowledge of African cultural heritage through drumming, dancing, and research.
As a specialist in African choral and brass band music, a clinician in other sub-Saharan African musical arts, world percussion, and advocate of intercultural, interdisciplinary, and multicultural music, Younge has presented and performed at several festivals, concerts, and conferences internationally in over 45 States/Provinces in the US/Canada and 25 countries internationally. Before coming to Ohio University, Younge taught at WVU, where he served as Director of the World Music Center and at the University of Ghana as Principal Music Instructor and director of several ensembles, including brass bands, choirs, and other instrumental groups.