Famoudou Konaté is a Malinké Master drummer from Guinea. Famoudou Konaté is a world-renowned virtuoso of the Djembe drum and its orchestra. One of only a handful of initiated Masters of the Malinké drumming tradition, Famoudou is universally respected as one of the world’s premiere djembe Drum Masters. He has dedicated his life to performing and preserving the music of his people, helping to elevate the djembe orchestra from its traditional roots to worldwide popularity.
Famoudou was born in 1940 near Sangbaralla, a village in the Hamana region of Upper Guinea, the Malinké heartland and the birthplace of the Dunun family of rhythms. A percussive prodigy, he was drumming in community festivals at the age of eight and was soon in demand as a djembefola across the region. From 1959 to 1985, Famoudou was the Lead Djembe Soloist for Les Ballets Africains de la République de Guinée, touring the world and performing with astounding virtuosity. During this time, Famoudou himself created many of the musical arrangements now common in West African performance groups worldwide.
In 1986, Konaté began his independent teaching career in Europe, teaching and performing with the Famoudou Konaté Ensemble, formed and managed by the legendary drumming duo from Berlin, "DJembe Tubabu" (Silvia Kronewald and Paul Engel). In the year 2000, Konaté was invited to the United States for the first time as an independent artist by the Chicago Djembe Project. Today, Konaté teaches and performs annually throughout Europe, Japan, Israel, North America and West Africa, instilling a generation of non-African drummers with an extraordinary level of training. In 1996 he received an honorary professorship in Didactics of African Musical Practice from University of the Arts Berlin. He has produced 7 CDs, including his most recent release, Hamana Mandenkönö.
He is a Master Teacher, working across cultures, languages and skill levels to assist students with an approachable, patient and flexible teaching style. Famoudou’s passion for the music infuses every workshop. In each session, he effectively communicates a wealth of knowledge and drumming experience through his hands, his heart and his warm sense of humor. Everyone benefits from hands-on, personal contact with Famoudou throughout the workshop experience.
- 1991 - Djembefola. Directed by Laurent Chevalier.
- 1991 - Rhythmen Der Malinke — Museum Collection Berlin
- 1997 - Rhythms and Songs of Guinea; English version published in 2000
- 1998 - Guinée : Percussions et Chants Malinké (Musique Du Monde series) - Volume 1
- 2001 - Hamana Föli Kan
- 2003 - Guinée : Percussions et Chants Malinké (Musique Du Monde series) - Volume 2
- 2004 - Hamana Mandenkönö