Artists

Souleymane SANOU aka "Mani"
Dumduba – Bass kora – Chekere - Lead voice & choral - Dance

souleymane sanou
Born in 1956, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina-Faso, Souleymane Sanou aka “Mani” has been a FARAFINA percussionist, dancer, and singer since 1986.
His first profession was that of tailor, and he lived for several years in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. After his return to Bobo-Dioulasso in 1976, Mani met the famous balafon player Mahama Konaté in a traditional tavern that was well-known as much for its live music as its millet beer.
He was so touched by Konaté's music that he dropped his tailor business and followed him. At the time, he was playing mostly for traditional ceremonies. When the group FARAFINA was founded in 1978, Mani designed and created the musicians’ costumes. At around the same time, Mani joined Dodje, a dance company, and won First Prize at a “national week of culture” event in 1984.
Seeing his success, Mahama Konaté invited Mani to help found a second group of young artists, YELEEMBA, a large band of 25 dancers and musicians, all young and talented.
In 1986, he joined FARAFINA as a dancer and percussionist (doumdoum and bass kora).
In 1991, Mahama Konaté left FARAFINA and appointed Mani as head of the band.
Subsequently, and even more so since Mahama Konaté’s death in 2010, Mani has become the proud pillar of FARAFINA’s spirit and repertoire.
 

Fatoumata DEMBELE
Lead voice – Chekere

fatouma dembele
Born in 1972, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina-Faso, Fatoumata Dembele is the daughter of a griot and was raised in a griot's family She inherited the griot poet-messenger-musician tradition by accompanying her mother in ritual ceremonies. Her father was a balafon maker and player.
At the age of 25, she became a griot in the ceremonies and ritual celebrations, accompanied by musicians playing the djembe as well as electric orchestra instruments.
In 1998, she took part in a music festival in Bobo-Dioulasso. After her performance, she was invited to join FARAFINA. She sings, dances, and plays small percussion instruments. Her joining the group has contributed to the expansion of its repertoire.
 

Soungalo COULIBALY
Flute – Bara – Voice-choral

soungalo coulibaly
Born in 1954, in Badara. As child, Soungalo herded sheep and wiled away his time playing the flute. At age 20, he came to Bobo-Dioulasso, and did various jobs, such as masonry and blacksmithing. But, at the same time, he played flute with various groups in Bobo-Dioulasso. In 1983, Mahama Konaté invited him to join FARAFINA.
He also likes to sing, and on stage he has shown himself to be a splendid performer, with his very personal way of dancing. In composition, he is credited with titles such as “Mandela” and “Bi Mousso.” Soungalo plays the Fulani flute.
 

Lamoussa SANOU
Dum’Dum – Bara – Balfon – Percussion

lamoussa sanou
Born in 1988, in Bobo-Dioulasso, this traditional musician learned how to play in cabarets –traditional tavern where musicians perform– before joining several groups, including FARAFINA YELEEMBA and then FARAFINA in 2006, with which he toured.
 

Moussa SANOU
Lead Kora – Tama – Voice-choral

moussa sanou
Born in 1978, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Moussa represents the backbone of FARAFINA thanks to his kora. He is a complete and well-rounded artist. He is not only an excellent musician, but also an actor. He has performed in BLACK HAMLET, under artistic director Otto Hubert, and in Germano-Swiss co-productions (through Pro-Helvetia).
In 1998 Désiré Somé, director of the dance group FARAFINA YELEEMBA and the Italian artists of KORON TLE gave substance to their extraordinary collaboration by creating the SIRABA association, a craft and artistic training center in Bobo-Dioulasso.
 

Seydoux DEMBELE
Djembe – Dum’dum – Bara – Balafon solo – Balafon Mandingue – Percussion – Voice-choral

Born in 1971, in Bobo-Dioulasso This excellent “Mandingue” balafon soloist was a member of FARAFINA YELEEMBA from 1996 to 2002. He made several tours with this group before joining FARAFINA in 2002.
 

Boakary DEMBELE
Djembe – Dum’dum – Bara – Balafon – Percussion

boakary dembele
Born in 1975, in Dankuy, Boakary is a third-generation griot. He was exposed to FARAFINA as a child. He performed a long time with the dance group YELEEMBA, which won First Prize several times during the “National Week of the Culture” in Burkina Faso. He also took part twice in the “Caravan of the Sahel,” organized by the Ministry of the Culture, which toured Burkina Faso, the Sahel and Niger. He is a talented Balafonist. He joined FARAFINA in 2001.
 

Salif OUATTARA
Djembe – Dum’dum – Bara – Balafon – Percussion

salif ouattara
Salif joined FARAFINA after working with various musical groups such as Makossa, Sabougnouman, and Dubaden. He excels not only in the djembe, balafon, bara, and other percussion instruments, but also in computer networking.
 

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