TRIAAC welcomes master drummer & folklorist Bolokada Conde
Jenbe master to teach in Fort Wayne
The clear beauty and explosive power of the jenbé drum in the hands of a master is a work of art, and in less than three weeks a master of that art and the folklore of the Malinke people of West Afrika will debut ina 9-day Summit City residency. TRIAAC, the Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Art & Culture, will host Guinean master artist Moussa Bolokada Condé, an internationally recognized master of Malinké cultural music and folklore, from October 22 to 31.
Steeped in the rich history and tradition of the Malinké people living in the Sankaran region of Upper Guinea, Bolokada has travelled the world teaching and performing. “We are excited to welcome master drummer Bolokada Condé for his premiere appearance in Fort Wayne,” said TRIAAC’s Ketu Oladuwa. “This is an edutainment residency that we don’t want our community to miss!”
A world class musician, who has performed with Elvin Jones, Joan Baez, and Mickey Hart, Bolokada perfected his skills at traditional village celebrations throughout the Sankaran region of Guinea for more than 30 years before 1996 when he became the lead soloist for Les Percussions de Guinée, Guinea, West Afrika’s premiere national ballet.
On October 22, from 5-7PM, TRIAAC will host a Potluck Welcome for Bolokada at its studio at 501 E. Brackenridge Street. During his residency, Bolokada will teach classes at IPFW, perform at St. Joe Elementary School, conduct workshops for Peace, and Oak Farm Montessori schools, and conduct open community drum workshops at TRIAAC, and Walb Ballroom, on the IPFW campus. The highlight of the residency is a free concert at IPFW’s Rhinehart Music Center.
Since 2008 Bolokada has been a mainstay as visiting artist, at the Robert E. Brown World Music Center, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For 13 years TRIAAC’s Visiting Artist Forum has been the conduit for Guinean master artists, who trace their historical lineage back to the 13th century Mali Empire. Bolokada is unique among Guinea’s international coterie of artists in that most of his experience playing is rooted in the village tradition, where he played for more than 30 years as the regional “go-to-guy.”
The undistorted clarity of his sound, the melodic lilt of his phrases, the speed of his talking hands, and his encyclopedic knowledge of Mandé culture and tradition render Bolokada a walking university for one of West Afrika’s most respected traditional music.
The residency is a collaboration between TRIAAC and IPFW’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. It is sponsored by the Downtown Improvement District, AEP, ProFed, and Blue Marble, Inc.; and is supported in part with funds from Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne.