What We Do
Manding Grooves bridges this gap between local and global, simultaneously preserving the deep humanity in Manding culture while translating it to, and hopefully inspiring, a global audience.
We work creatively with Manding musicians and a cross-cultural team worldwide:
We support musicians and groups in music production for an international audience
We create projects between Manding musicians and artists, ensembles, and orchestras from other cultures with similar interests
We produce concerts, music workshops, and seminars
We create video and audio content about Manding musicians around the world
Manding Grooves, founded by Famoro Dioubate and Lisa Feder, functions as a social cooperative enterprise. We are a business, and we seek corporate investment as well as grants. We use the market to maximise our profits, however, our profits are shared equally with the participants who create and carry out our projects. We have a full- transparency policy with regards to money, where it comes from and how it is spent or reinvested.
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 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 offers seminars, classes, workshops, with live griot musicians.
Now we work with griots in New York, France, and worldwide.