djembe zoom

For chatting and discussions.
By bubudi
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
By bubudi

View it on Youtube
boka in an intense djembekan at the close of his milan workshop

boka at a performance in milan with babara bangoura, ismael bangoura, epizo bangoura, naby camara and others

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boka and babara bangoura in a krin duo

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boka leading his group, boka jrs, at a spectac at the house of les etoiles du fareta, 2004

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boka jrs at a spectac in conakry, showing what they can do without their teacher
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By Dugafola
Boka in Matam. Tabaski 1/20/05.
IMG_1409.JPG (222.93 KiB) Viewed 8265 times
By bubudi
indeed boka was liked and respected by many djembefolas not only in his generation but those before and after him... the konate family, bangoura family... too many to mention...

here's 18 mins worth of old footage showing boka in his youth with the percussions juniors de guinee, along with mohamed and ismael bangoura (please be patient for videos to load).

soli lent

View it on Youtube

View it on Youtube
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By Dugafola
bubudi wrote: Image
playing alongside his friend ismael bangoura at the same performance
that's Babara Bangoura, not ishmael.
By bubudi
yea i think you're right. from that angle they both look a bit similar, especially with the same haircut :wink: i think babara looks better with corn rows.
By t******9
Thanks so much for this posting, I hadn't seen the 2nd video. Boka's passing was such a shockingly sad event. He relished playing so much; that deep fluent intensity and his rhythmic musicality was unmatched in younger djembe masters I've seen.

Do you know where to find the "Allah Nana" cd he did with his Boka Jrs. group, and the "Respect" one with A. Bangoura?

Thanks Much.
By Alya
I studied Djembe for Boka in 1997 for almost one year in Matam. I hung together with him, Ismail, Badi Bangoura, and Sido, they called me "Alya"

I just heard that Boka has died and I feel very sad. I had promised him to see him again within 10 years. Please, if anyone knows a little more about how he died I would love to hear more about it. Please email me at or private message here. I have original recordings from our lessons together with Ismail and his students.