Our Mission: The Crocodile River Music mission is one of developing African artists and their careers, and putting those performers into professional presentations that demonstrate the origins as well as influences of African music to communities and schools throughout the Northeast.
Our Vision: In support of our mission, Crocodile River Music has entered a working partnership with the Gallery of African Art in Clinton, Massachusetts, with the common goal of increasing awareness and appreciation of African art and music throughout the Northeast.
As a result of that collaboration, African Arts in Education was founded in October 2012, in Clinton, Massachusetts and developed collaboratively by Crocodile River Music and the Gallery of African Art. Now located in downtown Worcester, AAiE is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts-service organization. We continue to fulfill our mission of sharing the cultures of Africa through stimulating interactive workshops, compelling performances and engaging school residencies.
We are also working in close collaboration with several other cultural entities, such as the EcoTarium, the Worcester Art Museum and the Discovery Museum, and Crocodile River Music is developing relationships with both Afro-Pop Worldwide and Connecticut College, among others.
How It All Began: While in Mali on a Watson Fellowship, Zach Combs fell in love with the rich and diverse cultural tradition of West Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he founded Crocodile River Music in 2011 with the idea of helping West African musicians to bridge the cultural divide preventing them from successfully pursuing vibrant careers.
Crocodile River Music & Media was an instant success. Booking requests poured in for concerts and drum-and-dance workshops in secondary and elementary schools throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. In response to this demand, Crocodile River Music founded African Arts in Education, a non-profit created to bring the music, art and culture of West African to New England schools.
Crocodile River Music has also been performing their global music in concert in some of the most prestigious venues in New England, including Tuckerman Hall and the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, both in Worcester, as well as the Providence Performing Arts Center. A sampling of other venues includes Connecticut College, the Blackstone River Theater in Cumberland, Rhode Island, and the Courthouse Center For The Arts in North Kingston, Rhode Island.