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Genres You Will Love
World: African- West Moods: Mood: Fun Moods: Mood: Party Music Jazz: African Jazz Urban/R&B: Urban

By Location
United States - United States United States - Wisconsin

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Mandjou Mara and Kikeh Mato

Mandjou Mara, native of Guinea, grew up drumming and singing. While visiting his family in Patea, his aunt was the first to understand his talent when she saw him playing a makeshift balafon and singing. She said, “You will be a griot.”

Upon returning to Conakry, his first drum and dance group Oiseau Blanc, recruited him when he was just five years old as a djembe player. It was with this group that he honed his djembe skills and learned other aspects of Guinean music, dance, song, and staging.

The djembe soloist of Oiseau Blanc recongnized Mandjou’s talent and introduced him to the prestigious Les Percussions de Guinee who took him on as one of their players. Momordiba Camara of the world renown Les Ballets Africains was the next to recruit Mandjou as a djembe soloist and assistant director for his group Tayeli of Kaporo in 2000. Mandjou created his performance ensemble Limanya de la Guinee in 2007.

During all these years, Mandjou was a sought-after griot (singer) and performed at numerous celebrations and ceremonies. Mandjou’s many performances include multiple appearances drumming and singing at Lasana Conte's (the former president of Guinea) residence.

In addition to being an engaging performer, Mandjou is a patient and skilled instructor with experience teaching Guineans, Europeans and Americans alike.

Mandjou moved to Madison, WI in 2008 and created his new drum and dance ensemble Limanya, as well as Kikeh Mato, his Afro-Pop group. Now that he has settled in Madison, he is excited to continue sharing his knowledge of Guinean music and tradition. Classes, performances and workshops can be tailored to suit your needs and interests.

“There are no boundaries in the language of music.”