Mamady Keïta was born in the small village of Balandougou, Guinea, in the northeastern prefecture of Siguiri, near the border of Mali. His initiation to the djembe started at the early age of seven, under Karinkadjan Kondé, elder master djembefola of Balandugu, who initiated him to the secrets of the djembe. Keïta was educated in the traditions of his village, learning the history and music of the Malinke people. At the age of twelve, he became a member of the first regional federal ballet of Siguiri after Balanka Sidiki, a recruiter for the group, came to Balandugu looking for performers.
This recording was made at Keita home, San Diego in 2007.
Moussa Bolokada Conde is a master drummer from Kissidougou, Guinea, expert of Malinke rhythms, and one of the world’s foremost djembefolas. He joined the Les Percussions de Guinée to replace the legendary Noumoudy Keïta as their lead drummer. He has traveled and performed in major venues all over the world since 1996 and was featured in the IMAX movie PULSE: a Stomp Odyssey. Since 2004, he has been performing and teaching in the United States. He has conducted percussion workshops in many cities in the US and Europe. He has released two musical CD’s, Morowaya and Sankaran. He stars in the DVD M’bemba Fakoli: A Musical Journey Through Guinea and has released the djembe instructional DVD M’bara. He is the subject of an upcoming documentary, Bolokada Conde—Malinke Village Djembefola. He was awarded immigrant status as an alien with extraordinary ability in the arts in 2007.