Manimou Camara has a comprehensive knowledge of the traditional and contemporary performance arts of Guinea as both a musician and dancer. He has found that the music and dance of his culture can help people of all ethnicities transcend life's difficulties. People who watch, play and dance can find peace inside the music. He feels strongly that this music is not just for Guineans and wants to share it with the world.
Manimou enjoys shaping people into formidable performers and is willing to invest in people as much as they are willing to invest in themselves and the community. Manimou loves the opportunity to go beyond the basics and teach some of his most dedicated students the intricate qualities of both the music and dance.
Fode Sylla is a dynamic drummer, dancer and performance artist from Conakry, Guinea, who specializes in traditional West African drum and dance. Fode received circus arts training at the esteemed Centre d’art acrobatique KEITA Fodéba (TINAFAN) from 2005-2007. He is a master of West African Rhythms, having performed with the nationally renowned Ballet Mervielle de Guinea as well as Amoussou, an Ivory Coast dance troupe.
Sekou Fofana, a dynamic percussionist and vocalist from Guinea, West Africa. Sekou grew up in (the capital city) Conakry and came to the Seattle area in 2016. He has worked for over 30 years studying, making, and teaching music. He is a joyous, strong, and energetic artist with a lot to share. In this class he will introduce the different drums (djembe, dun dun, sangban, and kenkeni), and share techniques for playing each one.
Rosaline loves the music and dance of her native Guinea-Conakry. She has been dancing since she was very little, learning from her grandmother and her father, Manimou Camara. Rosaline also love contemporary/modern dance and dances in Kentridge Chatelaines Dance Team. She has also danced with CLDE directed by Dani Tirrell, Dora Oliviera, Nicole Springer-Clarke, Sarah Lee Parker Mansare, Siya Manyakanyaka Sow , Etienne Cakpo as well as STG's DANCE THIS summer intensive.
A native of Guinea, West Africa, Oumar Keita is known for his extensive knowledge of music and history. Oumar showed an interest in traditional music and began singing at an early age with his mother. He plays traditional instruments like the bolon, ngoni and gongoma to accompany his singing. Although his focus is on traditional music, he also enjoys modern music. Oumar is proud to be multilingual and can rap and sing in Malinke, Susu and French.
Naby Camara was born in Kantely, Guinea in 1962, in a griot family and grew up in a traditional music environment. His father was a balafon player and his mother a singer. He learned to play the balafon with his older brother, Lanassy Camara, at the age of 7. In 1970, he started performing in traditional fiestas and soon after became the official balafonist of the Fédéral troupe of Conakry for many years. In 1980, he was recruited by the Grands Ballets of Guinea as solo balafonist.
In Malinke, N’Nato means "I’m coming" and she arrived in this world dancing! N’Nato Camara is a member of the Susu tribe and comes from the city of Conakry in Guinea West Africa. In Guinea, N’Nato was the principal dancer with the Ballet Taille led by Mamadouba Camara, soloist for the Ballet Djoliba and former soloist for the Ballet Africans - two of West Africa’s most respected traditional groups. Other Guinean groups N’Nato has performed with include Circus Baobob, and Kaley Multicultural.
usmane Sylla was born in Guinea West Africa and has been dancing contemporary African dance since the age of 7. Ousmane began dancing with his neighborhood friends in Conakry the capital of Guinea since 1980. After many years of dance experiences, Ousmane and his dance companions created a small group named “Les Inguidants” for performances, shows and parties like: show on the street, school shows, clubbing performances, and wedding reception parties
Maxx Arnold - Dunduns
Percussion has been a passion of Maxx Arnold's from an early age. "Some thing very true and personal happens when a drummer accompanies a dancer and it is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. And being able to work with someone as diligent, hard working, energetic and thoughtful as Manimou and with such a fantastic group of people who I can almost call family, is a blessing in and of itself."
James B. Morford is a Lecturer in the School of Music at the University of Washington. He holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a focus on social issues related to music and dance in the Republic of Guinea and its diasporas, as well as degrees in Music Education and Physics. His published scholarship includes works in the fields of ethnomusicology, community music, and music education. Jim plays djembe for Denbaya.