Cultural Percussionist

World Music with Mamady Keita

Born in 1950, master drummer Mamady Keita comes from eastern Guinea, once a part of the vast Manding Empire. In pre-colonial times it also included large portions of what are now Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

At his birth, a soothsayer predicted Keita would become known all over Africa and even in “countries of which we’ve never heard spoken!” By age fourteen he was a professional, traveling around Guinea learning new rhythms. And as foretold, in 1965 a teenage Keita began touring the globe with the Guinean Ballet.

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