The Wula Team: New York

 

MICHAEL MARKUS
President

Markus has spent over 20 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. Soon afterwards 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 he has based the production end of this company, Wula Drum, where 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!

 

The Wula Team: Guinea

 

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.

 

Shell Carving Team


YERO SADJO KANTE (POUNPOUN)

Job Specialty: Carving wood exterior for Special Piece drums

MORLAYE CAMARA (RASTA)

Job Specialty: Carving Interior for Select and Special Piece drums

IBRAHIMA SORY BARRY (BRAHIM)

Job Specialty: Rough shells in the bush, Carving Exterior and Interior

MAMADOU SAIDOU BALDE (DOSS)

Job Specialty: rough shell in brush and Carving Exterior.

MAMADOU OURY CISSOKO (SADIGOM)

Job Specialty: Rough shells in the bush, Carving Exterior and Interior

MAMADOU OURY BARRY (FARAZ)

Job Specialty: Rough shells in the bush, Carving Exterior and Interior

 

Decoration Carving Team


BANGALY CAMARA (BENGA)

Job Specialty: Carving decor

YOUNOUSSA SYLLA (YOU)

Job Specialty: Carving decor

ABDOULAYE CAMARA

Job Specialty: Carving decor

MOHAMED SOUMAH (MORO)

Job Specialty: Carving decor

ABDOULAYE SOUMAH (PAPA)

Job Specialty: Carving decor

 

Finishing Team


SAYDOU TRAORE (MALIEM)

Job Specialty: Planing and Sanding

AMADOU OURY BALDE

Job Specialty: Wood finishing

 

Mounting Team


OUMAR CONDE (BENSALA)

Job Specialty: Mounting Special Piece Djembes

ALHASSANA KEITA (PAPA)

Job Specialty: Mounting Special Piece Djembes

MOHAMED DIAKITE (AFIKHE)

Job Specialty: Mounting all dundun sets

MOHAMED LAMINE BANGOURA (LAMINE)

Job Specialty: Mounting drums

DAOUDA CAMARA (IDENTE)

Job Specialty: Mounting drums

ALYA SYLLA

Job Specialty: Mounting drums

MAMADOU DIALLO

Job Specialty: Mounting drums

IBRAHIM DIABY (IBRAHIM)

Job Specialty: Mounting drums

 

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