Event Info

Mamadou Diabate & Percussion Mania will perform traditional West African music. Mamadou Diabate is an award winning balafon master and composer born in Burkina Faso. He combines “Jeli” family music making with story telling of the Sambla peoples. This music is in fact the Sambla language translated into music. Unless you speak this language you cannot play this music!

Co-Sponsored by the Council of the Humanities, Department of Music and Program in African American Studies

About the Artist:

Mamadou Diabate was born into a traditional musician family (Sambla people) in Burkina Faso (West Africa), with a long tradition of practicing the profession of story telling and music making.

At the age of 5 he started his professional training with his father Penegue Diabate, who in his days was considered the best balafon player far beyond the bordes of the sambla culture. At 8 he began with his apprenticeship years with renowned balafonists of neighboring peoples.

In 1988 and 1998 he won the first prize of the "National Culture Week" of Burkina Faso.

He currently lives in Austria.

With his group Percussion Mania he won the Austrian World Music Award (2011) and the Grand Prix of the "Triangle du Balafon" Competition in Mali (2012). For his virtuosity, he was there also honored with the "Prix Alkaly Camara de la virtuosité".

In 2017 he was made Knight of the National Order (Chevalier de l'Ordre National) of Burkina Faso.

He has released 11 CDs with his own compositions and 2 others with authentic music of the Sambla and Tusia peoples (both world premiere).

In Burkina Faso, he had built a primary school where poor children are taught free of charge. (www.sababu.info)