M'bemba Bangoura is the artistic director of Wula Drum. He tests our products and helps us continue to refine the djembe to get the best possible sound for professional performance. In addition, he works with our performance company and youth programs as a choreographer, arranger, and performer.
M'bemba Bangoura is revered worldwide for his high level of mastery of the djembe drum. M'Bemba began drumming at a very young age in his native Guinea, West Africa. Guinea has many parts with many different styles of drum and dance. Growing up in Conakry, M'Bemba was exposed to all of these styles in the cultural melting pot of the city. By the age of 21, he was an acclaimed and accomplished drummer and was invited to play for Ballet Djoliba, the National Ensemble of Guinea. After playing with Djoliba and other groups in Guinea for 13 years, M'Bemba moved to the US in 1992.
He has choreographed and developed repertoire for dozens of dance companies in New York City and abroad. An integral part of many drum and dance conferences and workshops nationwide, M'Bemba teaches and performs regularly in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
As a recording artist, his three albums, Wali, Fandji, and Wofabe present a marriage of the traditional and modern sounds of Guinea. The albums feature tight arrangements and the incorporation of the full ensemble with vocalists, balafon, and more. M'Bemba has published two instructional DVDs with Wula Drum: Wamato Vol 1 and Wamato Vol 2. He recorded a series of Play Along albums with Wula Drum and Michael Markus that feature clear breakdowns and unique solo phrases for eight different rhythms.
Above all, M'Bemba seeks to share the traditions of his culture with anybody who wants to learn. M'Bemba is one of the foremost ambassadors for Guinean drum and dance.
There are so many Wula Drums to choose from, it can be hard to pick. Watch a video of Michael Markus, the president of Wula Drum, explaining how to choose a djembe.
Wula Gift Certificates are the perfect holiday gift for drummers, dancers, and lovers of African culture and music. They can be used for anything on the Wula store, including drums, accessories, our ongoing classes in New York, Audio CD Downloads, Instructional DVD Downloads, and more!
The balafon is one of the oldest instruments in the world. Anybody can play a note on the balafon, just strike the note and listen to your beautiful sound! Griot and Wula Drum artist Famoro Dioubate's demonstration shows that there is much more to this instrument with endless variations on the three octaves tuned to a major scale.