Sekou Camara - djembe master & djeli

Sekou Camara was born in 1949 in Siguiri, Guinea. In the Malinke tradition, Sekou was a djeli (griot). He was a master percussionist but his knowledge of west-african traditionnal music and all the percussion instruments of Guinea was extraordinary. He sang, played the guitar (as can be heard on the Paul Horn CD, "Africa"). He was also a dancer, acrobat, choreographer and composer.

Sekou learned to play balafon and djembe at a very young age. As he grew up, he continued his training as a percussionnist and dancer. In 1966, he spent six months in China training in acrobatics. Finally, he was selected to be in the Ballet Djoliba National and began touring all over the world.

Image of Seckou Tanaka Camara, Cobra of Manding

In 1980, he moved from Guinea to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and continued to perform and teach. He visited Montreal in 1987. He visited Montreal in 1987. In 1992, he toured the US as artistic director of Africa Oye, an international group of 35 musicians of different ethnic groups from all over Africa.

In 1993, the final year of his life, Sekou came to Montreal and worked with Takadja for 5 months. He also recorded "Djembe Tigui" and "Africa".

Sekou died in Paris in November 1993 while touring with the Koteba Ensemble of Abidjan. He was aged only 44. His loss was strongly felt in the international Mande arts community.