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ivorian style - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

Discuss djembe masters and prodigies here
By bubudi
ladji kante and group playing dansa in bamako.


born in bouake, cote d'ivoire, ladji was raised by his griot parents, issouf kante and mananfin sylla (from guinea). he began playing djembe and dunun at age 9 and followed his parents from one traditional ceremony to another to carefully observe the masters of his craft. ladji also studied and played with world famous master drummers soungalo coulibaly and adama drame and moved to bamako, mali, where he performed with salif keita, recorded with rokia traore, periodically accompanied toumani diabate and opened for baaba maal. in 2007 he moved to south africa where he currently performs and teaches.
By bubudi
here's another djembefola with mixed ivorian/malian styles, non other than the legend himself, soungalo coulibaly
Last edited by bubudi on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By bubudi
perhaps the most important young djembefola from cote d'ivoire is harouna dembele.
check him out in this video:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2zz0u ... dian_music

the 2 djembefolas playing with him in this concert were ibrahim 'boka' camara (guinea) and thomas guei (cote d'ivoire), both great djembefolas in their own rights. here's a little more of that concert:

harouna dembele was born in 1977 in bobo dioulasso, burkina faso, to griot parents. from a young age he played djembe, bala, bara and dunun. he came to abidjan, cote d'ivoire with his father and 3 brothers, where they played in many traditional ceremonies, harouna developing extraordinary ability on djembe and bala. in 1994 he became the lead soloist for the famed percussion troupe 'yelemba d'abidjan'.


here's yelemba live at womad in england:

harouna on myspace

yelemba d'abidjan on myspace
Last edited by bubudi on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Dugafola
harouna has to be one of the top young djembefolas on the planet right now although he's from Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina and not the Ivory Coast. he's well balanced in tradition and ballet performance as well as his musical knowledge of the various ethnic groups across burkina, IC, Mali and Guinea.

petit adama should also be mentioned for the ivory coast style.
By bubudi
yes, harouna was born in burkina, as i said in the bio above, but he was still a boy when he moved to abidjan with his family and that ivorian sound is really evident. i agree he is very strong on the guinean stuff too and plays super dense phrasing with yelemba, the way most of the young guinean folas do.

petit adama bio coming up next, followed by baba toure.
Last edited by bubudi on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By bubudi
adama diarra was born in bouake, cote d'ivoire, in 1974, to a musical family. his father taught him balafon, dunun and tama. at 7 years old he discovered the djembe. by age 10 he had become somewhat of a prodigy and became the lead solist for baya konate's band. at age 12 he was spotted by the late soungalo coulibaly who took him under his wing. due to his young virtuosity, he was nicknamed "petit adama".


in 1993 he moved to bamako, mali and his multi instrumental talents (djembe, dunun, tama, guitar, balafon, n'goni) earned him respect from some of the biggest names in the malian music scene: babani kone, amy koita, kandia kouyate, kasse mady diabate, basekou kouyate, djelimady tounkara, with whom he collaborated. while working with guitarist moribo diabate, he further developed his guitar playing.


in june 1999, he joined his brother kalifa in toulouse, france to tour with the group "kouli san kan" for 3 months. he returned to paris that year with babani kone for the africolor festival. in 2000 he became a teacher for kunta kinte association's school of traditional music and dance of jurrureh (gambia). during his visits to the gambia he became familiar with the kora, on which he has his own unique style.


in july 2001, he joined basekou kouyate and kasse mady diabate on an international tour. he toured again with basekou kouyate in june 2002. after his return he created his group, diarra kan. in april 2003, the group received support from the kunta kinte association and their first album, tunga, was produced. later that year they formed a partnership with the center for traditional music in ile-de-france for a tour in may 2004.


petit adama also worked and taught with american band dee dee bridgewater in 2007 for their cd and tour last year. in his first album, tounga (2004), his talents as a singer-songwriter really stand out. he arranged every instrument (djembe, dunun, kora, n'goni, balafon) for each song, and many of the pieces on the album have an arabic sounding melody. that year he toured the world with his band, diarra kan.


adama diarra's myspace
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By Dugafola
bubu...you list him as a griot in the other thread. i don't think he is. my friend in france who adama stays with says he's not a griot either.
By bubudi
that is possible, dugie. i have to check. his parents and grandparents and most of the family are musicians tho, playing kora, bala, ngoni, tama, singing, etc. so i just assumed...
By bubudi
you might want to get your friend to ask adama personally. according to my sources, he's a griot. both his parents were griots. both him and his brother kalifa were started in djeliya from 3 or 4 years of age.
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By the kid
Cheers, good info and great videos. My friend was at festival in bobo last year with harouna dembele's ballet. i seen the video and was really impressed. it is so cool and musical but with savage djembe action. he's got great presence and voice too. the best ballet i've seen. Everything was quality and totally Profesional. Dembele even does a cool moon walk. dembeles manager or associate(french guy in suit) wasn't happy with the filming! but i hear there were plenty of french students of dembeles who also video'd the preformance. Hopefully they'll release a dvd at some stage. they definatly spent a lot on the production
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By Dugafola
thanks keanie.

a nice little soli. it's on his CD btw.

i wonder if his bros. are in that group...couldn't really tell.

one of my faves for sure.
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By the kid
Harouna Dembele Djembe Kan
from Fadoba on youtube

Yelembe d`Abidjan feat Harouna Dembele, Thomas Guei, and Ibrama boka Camera and some wicked dundun and sangbangers. Live in Italy `04, compliments of Almandingo
Part 1


Part 3
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