Markus has spent over 25 years performing, teaching and studying West African styles of drumming. After receiving his BFA in percussion from Ithaca College, he fell in love with Djembe and moved to New York City in 1993. There he found his primary teacher, Master Drummer M’Bemba Bangoura, and began to apprentice in Guinea, West Africa.
Michael is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of cultural arts and socioeconomic development in Guinea, West Africa, where the production end of this company, Wula Drum, is based. There, authentically elegant and professional sounding African drums are crafted.
M'BEMBA BANGOURA Artistic Director
M’Bemba Bangoura has traveled the world as a performer and teacher of the Djembe drum, and he is revered for his high level of mastery. As a native of Guinea, West Africa, M’Bemba began playing the djembe at the young age of seven. By the age of twenty-one, he was acclaimed as a master drummer and was invited to play for Ballet Djoliba, the national company of Guinea. Since moving to the US in 1992, M’Bemba is an integral part of the entire drum and dance scene nationwide. He has taught hundreds of students, many of who are now teachers themselves. In addition, he has personally created choreography and developed repertoire for dozens of dance companies worldwide.
Working throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, his style is infectious. He has recorded 3 solo albums, and a 2 volumes of DVDS called Wamato: Everybody Look! M’bemba has been a guest artist on dozens of other recording projects, videos, and films. Dedicated to teaching drumming, dancing, and his culture, M’Bemba is one of the prominent ambassadors for Guinean drum and dance!
YAMOUSSA "YAMBIG" KARAMOKO SYLLA Director of Production, Conakry, Guinea
Yamoussa Karamoko Sylla began Djembe work at 17 years of age to pay for his education. After graduating with a Computer Technology degree, he found out that what he really enjoys is the work and culture of the Djembe. He is a natural adept in the techniques of making Djembe. He soon worked with many of the drum makers throughout the capital of Conakry, searching to gain all of the knowledge and experience possible. Given the nickname ‘Yambig’ – which means Never Die, Yamoussa quickly progressed and is now respected as one of the best. He achieved his title by assembling and packing an entire container full of 350 Djembes, all by himself, in only 6 weeks!
After mounting drums for Wula Drum, he quickly transitioned to Production Manager. He oversees the quality and consistency of every single instrument Wula Drum produces.
After working for Wula Drum mounting drums, he quickly transitioned in role of production manager. He is currently instrumental in overseeing the quality and consistency of every single instrument Wula Drum produces.