this morning, ibrahima camara, known as 'boka', passed away from illness. raised in the artistic district of matam in conakry, boka was trained by the great djembe master, lamine 'lopez' soumah (former artistic director of percussions de guinee
) and showed great promise from a very young age. in his youth he starred in les percussions juniors
beside fara tolno, mohamed bangourake, sekouba conde, souleymane camara, babara bangoura and ismael bangoura.
most extraordinary about boka was his incredible speed, fluidity and musicality which is unparalleled by anyone. he was one of very few people possessing impeccably clean technique while playing at great speed. yet he didn't overplay. his skills were sought out by students of the djembe the world over, including france and italy, where he gave some memorable workshops. boka chose, however, to remain in guinea and pass on his knowledge to the new generation, founding the group boka juniors
, with his students.
at only 33 years of age at the time of his death, boka was probably the greatest guinean djembefola of the younger generation during his time. yet he remained very humble and always gave huge respect to his elders and teachers. he spoke with utter respect of lopez soumah, sekouba camara and mamady keita.
it is tragic that boka died so young but he left his imprint on the manding percussion music and leaves a legacy behind with his many students. boka managed to record 4 cds, being 'allah nana' with his group boka juniors
, 'djembe kan' with mohamed bangourake, 'keyim ba' with sibo bangoura and 'respect' with abdourahmane bangoura and other great young artists of matam. may his soul rest in peace.
boka solos at a post workshop performance in milan, april 2007
playing alongside his friend babara bangoura at the same performance
cd 'allah nana' with his group boka jrs (tracklist: kassa deni, yokui, dennadon, konden, gidamba, yankadi, konkoba, soli gbereduka, fonyeba, kirindeya, foret sacret)
cd 'respect' with abdourahman bangoura and friends
cd 'djembe kan' with mohamed bangoura, aka bangourake
cd 'keyim ba' with sibo bangoura