Mamady “Wadaba” Kourouma was nicknamed “The Great Panther” because of his powerful sound on the djembe drum. Born into a blacksmith family of traditional Malinke drummers and raised in the village of Oroko near Kouroussa , Guinea , from the age of 8 he learned all of his people’s traditional drum music and dances, as passed down from his ancestors. In 1993 he became the #1 apprentice of the legendary djembe master Famoudou Konate. In 2003 he was released from his apprenticeship and proclaimed a drum master and drum builder in his own right.
Since then Wadaba has toured in Germany , Japan , and throughout the USA , teaching and performing with Konate and the renowned Mamady Keita. He is also a director for the Oroko Fund charity organization, and a featured instructor for the African Village Drum Adventure in Guinea .
Currently Wadaba resides in Visalia and has assembled his own 8-member drum ensemble known as Wadaba Annye Ben Drum Ensemble. The group has already played two packed-house events at The Cellar Door, most recently with Kenya ’s Extra Golden.
Now, Wadaba makes his first Fox Theatre performance on Friday, July 18!
Opening the show is Carlos Rodriguez and Friends. Carlos and his band will discuss and perform a variety of Afro–Cuban rhythms that have become popular in today’s modern contemporary pop music.