who we are and what we groove to at
To create a world in which West African musicians are highly respected and well paid for sharing their values and culture with an international community.
We create transformative cross-cultural experiences for participants interested in West African culture, music, the arts.
We work with griots in New York, France, and Worldwide. Our company is dedicated to fair and equitable collaborations. We support environmental, economical, social, and spiritual awareness in our work.
American anthropologist Lisa Feder and Guinean griot balafonist Famoro Dioubaté, the company founders, met in 2006 in New York City. Lisa was doing doctoral fieldwork at Cornell University on griot culture in the diaspora. Famoro was forming his Manding groove band, Kakande. Famoro offered to teach Lisa the balafon and the art of jeliya, the profession of griots and they found a common groove.It was the start of a lifelong project together to bring jeliya, the music and culture of the griots from West Africa to the World.
Since then, Famoro's band, Kakande consists of dedicated American band members such as Andy Algire, Sean Dixon, Raul Rothblatt, a following of loyal, New York-based fans, and a well-established reputation in New York City. They play regularly at Shrine World Music venue.
Lisa published her book, "Jeliya at the Crossroads" with Palgrave Press (2021) based on her personal experiences working with griots, and about the curious place in which this musical culture sits - at a crossroads between a West African local culture and the world at large. Lisa organises balafon workshops and produces ongoing interviews with griot musicians on topics such as the experience of immigrate to Europe/North America, the cross-cultural, financial, and other difficulties, dreams and aspirations, and much more.