Our Drumming Masters

Learning from drumming masters

All members of Drumroots and Tanante train in West Africa and the UK with Master Drummers, who are known as djembe folas. Going directly to the source of original drumming knowledge and experience is key to our learning, progress and success as performers and teachers - and our direct experiences of African culture have provided us with invaluable lessons, enabling us to improve our techniques, style and teaching capabilities. Here are details of just some of the outstanding drumming masters who have taught us so much:

For more information please call us on 0161 408 5270 or email [email protected]. To book us for a Drumroots corporate development workshop (or a Tanante performance), please go to Bookings.

Iya Sako

Iya Sako

A Djembe Master from Samakofadda in the Wassalon region of North East Guinea, Mory Sako (known by friends and family as Iya), is from the Malinke tribe. Iya started to play dundun with Mamady Doumbouya (the village djembe fola) when he was nine, then became a djembe fola himself, and was in great demand as a performer. Iya subsequently worked throughout Guinea and Mali, and taught his first international students in Mali in 1999. He has played in a number of groups, including Hamana Diada and Fankabah, moving to the UK in 2007 and now living in the North West. He continues to teach and perform internationally. For more details visit www.iyasako.co.uk


Iya Sako

Nansady Keita

In 2007, Tanante studied in Nansady's village, Sangbaralla, in Guinea, since when we have continued to work and perform with him. Nansady is from the north-east Hamana region of Guinea and started playing djembe when he was eight, studying with the group Djoumeh Camara. In 1997, the world-renowned djembe master, Famoudou Konaté, asked Nansady to support his work with non-African students in Conakry, capital of Guinea. Nansady continues in this work and also performs worldwide. He recently formed Nansady Keita's Ensemble with Guinean musicians resident in the UK; he also works with two UK-based performance groups and has run master classes at the Royal Northern College of Music. For more details visit www.nansadykeita.com


Iya Sako

Namory Keita

From the same village as Nansady Keita, Namory studied the instrument from the age of 14 under the tutelage of established village djembe folas, Famoudou Konate and Nansday Keita. In 1999 (when Nansady moved to Europe), Namory become the village djembe fola, since when has he led countless traditional music events and ceremonies, and has taught hundreds of students from around the world. Namory has hosted workshops in Conakry, and has played and recorded with the group Fankaba. In Summer 2008, Namory came to Europe for the first time, and has contributed much to djembe knowledge and playing. For more details visit www.namorykeita.com


Iya Sako

Seckou Keita

Since 2007, Tanante has been studying with Seckou Keita, an internationally respected Master Drummer resident in the UK. Born in Senegal, Seckou grew up playing percussion and kora (African harp) as a member of the noted Cissokho family of griots. His international career began in Norway under the guidance of his uncle, Solo Cissokho, collaborating with Cuban and Scandinavian musicians, and with Indian violinist Dr L Subrimanium. Relocating to the UK in 1998, Seckou joined acclaimed world music group Baka Beyond; he has also supported Youssou N'Dour and Salif Keita, and was nominated for a BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. Seckou now performs with the Seckou Keita Quartet, performing at Womad, Glastonbury and other world music festivals. For more details visit www.seckoukeita.com


Iya Sako

Sidiki Dembele

Born in Abidjan, the capital city of The Ivory Coast, Sidiki Dembele is the second son of a Griot family. Sidiki has been a professional musician, specialising in percussion instruments such as DunDuns, kinkini, saba, Bara and Kongas, alongside other traditional African instruments such as the Ngoni guitar, Balafon and Kamelin Ngoni. In 2007 Sidiki was the solo Djembe fola selected from a sixty strong group of hopefuls in Ivory Coast to perform throughout Europe with Afrika!Afrika! Now based in Manchester, Sidiki regularly trains, teaches and performs with Tanante.


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