Prince Diabaté hails from a prominent, Malinké family from Guinea, West Africa. He learned his art from his father, Djéli Sori Diabaté. Breaking with tradition, his father also taught Prince’s mother, Hadja Djeli Sira Cissoko, to play kora. The young boy became an exceptionally early starter by accompanying his parents to their concerts throughout West Africa. Despite his father’s disapproval, he decided to make music his life. When he was eight years old, form Guinean President, Sekou Toure, came to his home town, Kindia, for a celebration in Independence Square. Braving the outraged soldiers and his own fear, the young musician grasped his kora, threw himself at the President s feet and played a special song for him. Greatly touched by his skill and audacity, Sekou Toure became his benefactor, enrolling him in the National Children’s Theater in Conakry. At 16 years of age, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, he stumbled upon a videocassette of Jimi Hendrix, and entered the international kora competition. Taking first prize that day ‘Prince Diabaté, Prince of the Kora’.
Prince Diabaté on Radio Venice
Feisty Heart is an American rock duo based out of Venice Beach, California. Comprised of Ruthie Garibay (electric guitar, vocals) and Stuart Johnson (drums, bass), their sound embodies blues, rock and roll and Americana with 60s/70s pop and rock songwriting influences. They currently perform as a “two-person-trio”.
Feisty Heart on Radio Venice
Afrikasa is a 4 piece ensemble – Nana Kwakye, Kofi Ameyaw, Chief Suale and Marwan Mograbi – playing neo classical African music primarily from Ghana. They performed at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music as part of their Artnight Program and other shows in Los Angeles during the Fall of 2018.
Afrikasa on Radio Venice
Radio Venice S09.E06 – October 14, 2018
Marwan Mograbi is a Virtuoso Percussionist/ Drummer, African Storyteller, Educator and Dramatist. Born in Accra, Ghana. Marwan grew up in the traditional Ga and Ashanti cultures, where his love for music and his development as a drummer began.
“Hand drumming is my speciality but I play flutes and other instruments as well. My desire to drum started at a very young age. I always loved to sing and would hum or tap rhythms unconsciously. I have never stopped playing the drums ever since I first touched one.”
Other Drumming styles from West Africa have also played a huge role in his transformation and growth as a drummer.
Marwan graduated from the School of Performing Arts in Ghana and worked at the National Theater of Ghana as an Actor and musician. In Germany he created Tabasamu (a non-profit organization for African cultural performances). Over the years he has taught drumming and African music to hundreds of people – young and old, in Africa, Europe and the United States. Marwan has performed on numerous stages. The foundation and primary influences of his music are drawn from traditional Ghanaian and African folk music, even though other cultural traits are visible in his work.
Main Photo: Yoji Abe / Bacchanal