West African Jali

Famoro Dioubate was born into a prestigious griot family in Manding capital of Kankan, Guinea, West Africa in the 1960s. His musical tradition dates back to the beginning or the Manding Empire in 1235 CE. Griots are oral historians who pass on the stories and values of their society from generation to generation through music. Mr. Dioubate has been playing his instrument, the balafon since he could swing the mallets. His late grandfather, El Hadj Djeli Sory Kouyaté was one of Guinea's top musicians and a Chef d'Orchestre, and Famoro has followed in his footsteps, playing worldwide in places such as Carnegie Hall, Joe's Pub, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art since the 1980s. In 1999, Famoro moved to New York City and formed his band Kakande, the first West African dance band to feature a balafon. He plays for a New York cosmopolitan audience as well as for traditional ceremonies and parties in the ex-Patriot community of West Africans in New York.

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