Zoumana Dembele - djembe teacher from Burkina Faso

Ousmane 'Zoumana' Dembele is a musician from Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. He is one of the best young djembefolas, equally spellbinding on tama, bara and callabashes. he is also amazing on the kamele n'goni and donso n'goni (hunters' harp)

Zoumana was born in 1975 in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where his father, Khalifa 'Sambo' Dembele (renowned Fula Fiddler), taught him the art of the griot. Together they performed at ceremonies of the Bwaba and Fula peoples, Zoumana accompanying Khalifa on the callabashes, until Khalifa's death in 1997.

Since his childhood, Zoumana's life has been centred around the music and traditions of West Africa. Ensuring his function as a griot in his village, Zoumana plays and sings at ceremonies of birth, marriage, funerals and other occasions. He has performed with numerous professional groups in Bobo Dioulasso, including the Fespaco Film Festival and "Jazz en Ouaga" festival.

He formed the group Landaya in 1990 with his brothers. The group has performed in Burkina Faso and Europe, and was awarded, among other honors, the Grand Prix National de culture de Burkina Faso. Landaya has recorded two albums: Burkina Ka Di (with Art Evolution) and Tounga Ma Dembelon (to be released by Lenke Productions).

Zoumana also traveled widely to musical encounters with artists such as Mamady Keita, Momo Wandel Soumah, Sidiki Camara and Baba Cissoko. In Brussels and across europe, Zoumana played with an Afro-Jazz group named "Foofango".

zoumana is the subject of the documentary film "in the blood: portrait of a griot" by jari jarvi and aleksi oksanen in 2005, available on dvd from kaarna productions. zoumana is the founder and director of a percussion center in bobo dioulasso. he conducts regular workshops for djembe and other percussion around the world.