JmiahNabawi  J'miah Nabawi



(912) 271-8661



Art Disciplines:

Storytelling, Music, Theatre/Drama, Social Studies/American History, Creative Writing, Visual Arts/Crafts

Core Content Curriculum Areas:

Music; Language Arts (English); Foreign Languages (Gullah-Geechee, French, Spanish, Ki-Swahili); Theatre/Drama; Character Education; Physical Education

Specialized Content Areas:

Arts Integration, Character Education, Language Arts, ELL, World Cultures, Physical Education

Grade Levels:  

Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Colleges and Universities

Special Populations:  

ELL (English Language Learners), At-risk Students

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development:  

Post-Secondary/Pre-Service Learning, Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Geographic Availability: Metro Atlanta, Macon, Savannah and their surrounding areas. Also available for South Georgia—Brunswick, Ludowici, Valdosta, St. Mary’s, GA


Program Fees:

Program Fees are the same unless otherwise stated, including school assemblies and public events.
$600 for 1 show
$1,100 for 2 shows back-to-back
$1,675 for 3 shows back-to-back

Artist Residencies:
3-Days minimum, $1,500 plus overnight accommodations in a national brand hotel if necessary.
5-Day residency outside of Savannah area, $2,700, fee includes overnight accommodations.
$1,100 for 2 shows back-to-back
5-Day residency within Savannah area, $2,250

All fees are negotiable and the artist is willing to work within limited budgets.

Artistic Profile:


A native of Philadelphia, PA, J’miah Nabawi’s professional storytelling career was inspired by the late celebrated Mandinka Djeli (Griot), Djimou Kouyate, and Linda Goss, “The Official Storyteller of Philadelphia” who would eventually become a mentor. An award-winning, multi-faceted storyteller, J’miah’s upbeat storytelling reflects the story-dance-musical storytelling drama found in many parts of Africa and its diaspora. J’miah also tells and adapts stories from around the world. Through his presentations, he has often served as cultural ambassador, program host, and parent engagement facilitator at various venues presenting culturally entertaining, family-friendly, children’s programs and educational workshops. J’miah has shared his brand of high-spirited storytelling across the U.S. and Mexico in schools; art, history, and science museums; and colleges and universities. Bilingual in Spanish and a polyglot of sorts, J'miah is known to incorporate story-specific phrases, greetings, songs and text in Japanese; Yoruba; Gullah; French; Russian; Twi; Ki-Swahili; Chinese and other languages as a form of inclusion and to make deeper connections with immigrant communities, children and families whose mother-tongue is other than English.

Under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), J'miah has appeared on the concert stage at regional and nationally recognized international festivals and events with concert pianists, professional Chamber Music ensembles, Jazz ensembles, and University Student Mass Choirs. As an actor/storyteller, J’miah’s primary mentors and stage training have come from internationally acclaimed Jazz singer and Playwright, the late Oscar Brown, Jr., Linda Goss, “The Official Traveling Storyteller of Philadelphia”, renowned Ghanaian Ethnomusicologist, Dr. Kwasi Aduonum, and American Playwright and Director of Theater and Film, George C. Wolfe.

Teaching Experience:

J’miah has more than thirty years of teaching experience that is inclusive of teaching English as a foreign language (ESL) in Mexico and as a teaching visiting artist under the auspices of various state arts councils—Pennsylvania Arts Council, Virginia Council for the Arts, Massachusetts Arts Council, B.O.C.E.S., Binghamton, N.Y.—and is currently on the roster of the South Carolina Arts Commission. His teaching experience includes working in the school districts of Philadelphia, PA; Blue Mountain Schools (Orwigsburg, PA); Miami-Dade, FL; Boston Public Schools; Los Angeles Unified School District; Fulton County Schools (Atlanta); and Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, to name a few. Under the tutelage and mentorship of Dr. Richard Benjamin and the late Susan Hanson, J’miah is trained in Arts Integration and the end use of Leonard Bernstein’s Artful Learning.

Sample Programs: Please note. Sample lesson plans for WOOD Makes Music!™, There’s Rhythm in the Telling of a Tale™; and Tell-Aerobic-Tales™ are available upon request for schools inquiring about a residency and are adaptable to suit lesson plans and classroom goals to meet standards.

There’s Rhythm in the Telling of a Tale™

Summary: There’s Rhythm in the Telling of a Tale™ includes various interactive, interdisciplinary storytelling presentations reflective of the “story-dance-musical drama” of Africa and its diaspora, particularly of Anansesem, the telling of Kwaku Ananse (Anansi/Ananse the spider-man) stories and their supporting recreational folktale songs known as Mmoguo. The Mmoguo traditionally have been used as musical interludes and interactive play to move the stories along during Anansesem and to relieve boredom and monotony during long storytelling sessions and at social gatherings. Gankogui (double bell/gong), Axatse (gourd rattles), hand drums and various hand-held percussion instruments, whistles, hand-clapping patterns with dance and creative movement are joined with the Mmoguo (recreational folktale-songs) that prompt the spontaneous creation of a "storytelling ensemble" from the audience with everyone joining in as the stories are told, sung, danced to and drummed during the telling of the tale.
Disciplines: Storytelling, Music, Creative Movement
Grade Levels: All ages
Number of Students: maximum of 350 students
Program Length: 1 hour
Facility and Technical Requirements: Stage/staging or gymnasium (enough space to accommodate the program); 2 cordless mics, 1 lapel mic


Conceived by J’miah Nabawi, Tell-Aerobic-Tales™ (Tell-Aerobics™) is interactive storytelling that integrates physical exertion, aerobic activity, and play into the telling of a folktale. The Tell-Aerobics™ program has been featured at various family outdoor fitness bazaars and at Middle Georgia State College (Warner Robins, GA) under the auspices of its early childhood and special education programs and its social and health sciences schools. Tell-Aerobic-Tales™ are available for health education and fitness seminars, physical education classes, and special events programming promoting family fitness, literacy, and health.
Disciplines: Storytelling, Aerobic and Physical Activity
Grade Levels: All grades
Number of Students: maximum of 150 students Program Length: 50 mins.
Facility and Technical Requirements: Clear space; cordless/lapel mic preferred

WOOD Makes Music!™

WOOD Makes Music!™ is a marimba-making experiential craft activity designed to introduce participants to the sonorous properties of wood and the application of specialized information and knowledge to construct a musical instrument. An arts installation project, the program was conceived and designed by J’miah Nabawi as a playful response to a national exhibit (“What Makes Music?”) at the Franklin Institute Planetarium and Science Museum in Philadelphia that was touring the U.S. during the 1990s. The program is in partnership with the school art instructor. Discussion and planning is necessary prior to booking the program.
Theme: The science of sound production
Discipline: Science, Arts and Crafts, Storytelling, Africa and Asia
Grade Levels: K-2nd grade for coloring the designs made onto the wooden keys by upper grades; 3rd-12th at various points of the project/activities
Number of Students: Varies depending on the class size and capacity of the visual art classroom

Please visit the artist’s website for more programming possibilities.

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides: Lesson Plan - What Being An American Means To Me
Program Outline - Gullah Ghana Geechee Gumbo
Program Photos and Videos:
Wood Makes Music (1)
Wood Makes Music (2)
There's a Drum in the Telling of a Tale
Tell Aerobic Tales
J'miah Nabawi with Students
J'miah Nabawi(1)
J'miah Nabawi (2) 
Tell Aerobic Tales Video
There's Rhythm in the Telling Video

Parent Engagement/Rhythm and Storytelling