Dafra Kura Band; 09/26/2017

Dafra Kura Band
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 7:30pm
McCullough Student Center, Wilson Hall

Hailing from Burkina Faso, the Dafra Kura Band fuses the high energy of the griot ancestral tradition and the contemporary sounds of modern African cities sourced from Manding tradition, nomad desert blues, and Afrobeat. Hear the band shine solo before their performances with Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project later in the week. Olivier Tarpaga, artistic director. Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project is a recipient of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project Touring Award, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon FoundationTickets: $10 General public and Middlebury ID holders/$6 Middlebury students.

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The Dafra Kura Band brings creativity inspired by tradition from their home in Burkina Faso during a week-long Vail Series residency.


Dafra Kura Band performs world music, traditional and contemporary sounds from Africa. The musical form of the band is an encounter between the high energy of the Griot ancestral tradition, which is part of West African everyday life and the contemporary sounds of modern African cities sourcing from tradition, blues, reggae, and Jazz.


Dafra Kura Band

Flatié DembeléKora, Acoustic Guitar, Calabash and Lead Vocal

Flatié Dembelé is an accomplished grand master Balafon player, a master Kora player, a talented acoustic and electric guitarist and a drummer born in a Griot family in Burkina Faso. Dembelé started singing and playing numerous traditional instruments with his family at an early age and performed at traditional ceremonies. He has performed and toured internationally with the National Orchestra of Burkina Faso as lead drummer and with La Troupe de L’Avenue of Bobo-Dioulasso for several years. He is also the founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed ensemble Wassenemi (Dreaming for Freedom of Expression).

In 2011, Flatié Dembélé was invited by the Department of Dance of the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH to compose and perform live music for L’Ombre du Silence, a choreography by internationally acclaimed choreographer Olivier Tarpaga. From 1990-1991, Dembelé had the opportunity to work and exchange with Adama Boloba, Massa Dembélé, Tidiane Coulibaly, Baba Sako and many more. He has composed music for several established choreographers in Africa and Europe and has released several albums. Recently he has been invited to perform in Norway and open for world-renowned recording artist Youssou N’dour in Paris, France. M. Dembélé is the principal musician for Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. Between 2010-2015 he has toured with Olivier Tarpaga and his Dafra Kura Band in Spain, India and Indonesia. 


Boubacar Djiga, Djeli Ngoni, Ngoni Bass, and vocals

Internationally-acclaimed recording artist Boubacar Djiga is a master musician born in a griot family in Burkina Faso. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, M. Djiga was the lead Djembé drummer and composer for the national ballet of Burkina Faso and is a permanent faculty member at Ecole Internationalde Dance Irene Tassembedo (EDIT) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Boubacar Djiga is a master Djeli Ngoni player, a traditional two-string guitar from West Africa. He is the founder and artistic director of the very acclaimed Kundé Blues. He is
a popular artist in Burkina and has recorded and toured with award-wining international rap star, Smarty of Burkina Faso, Rido Bayonne, Bil Aka Kora, Jean Philippe Rikel, Alif Naaba, Abdoulaye Diabaté, Issouf Kienou, Sissao and others. He is also an acclaimed acoustic guitarist and plays the kamalen ngoni, bougarabou, and tamanin. M.Djiga has performed and taught music in Niger, Togo, Sénégal, Angola, Benin, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Netherland, UK, Reunion Island and Denmark. He is the principal Djeli N’goni player for Olivier Tarpaga’s Dafra Kura Band and one of four live musicians for Declassi ed Memory Fragment of Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. 

Daouda Guindo, Electric Guitar and vocals

Daouda Guindo is an acclaimed master musician who began his music training at age nine. Guindo inherited his guitar and Djeli Ngoni virtuoso from his father in Banfora, Burkina Faso. In Bobo Dioulasso, the economic and cultural capital of Burkina Faso, Guindo is very popular and considered one of the best manding style guitarists, therefore recommended for every celebration event and concert in the city. He has mastered a unique style of playing the acoustic and electric guitars, inspired by African traditional and modern techniques.

Guindo is a member of Les Griots de Kossi ensemble, and former member of la Troupe Dounia and Konkoba of Bobo Dioulasso. He has worked and helped establish the successful Sabarikadi band. Guido has played with international artists at the numerous editions of the international Nuits Atypique music festival in Koudougou, Burkina Faso. Guindo has worked, recorded and collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Sekouba Bambino, Ami Koita, Man Kouyaté and Bintou Dembelé. Since 2001 he has performed at the 100 Heures d’ Afrique festival in Canada, and has toured France, Italie, Switzerland, Brazil, Mali, Senegal and Guinea. Guindo has been working as a composer and guitarist for Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project’s latest contemporary dance theatre piece Declassi ed Memory Fragment since 2011 and is the solo guitarist for Dafra Kura Band of Olivier Tarpaga. 

Olivier Tarpaga, multi-instrumentalist

Tarpaga has worked, performed, collaborated and recorded with rock artist POE at Capitol Records in Hollywood. In 2008, he was invited to re- interpret Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with West African instruments for a sold-out concert with British singer Billy Bragg and numerous guests at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA.

Tarpaga was exposed to music and multiple instruments at an early
age by his father and his nationally acclaimed Orchestre Super Volta during daily rehearsals at their family compound in Ouagadougou and taught himself music. He later studied West African music with grand master griot Amadou Kienou and toured internationally with his ensemble Foteban. He has studied dance with Salia Sanou, Seydou Boro, Alassane Congo, Mathilde Monnier, David Rousseve, Robert Seyfried, Nana

Nilson, Victoria Marks and Lionel Popkins. Tarpaga has performed and taught dance in more than 50 countries in throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia. 


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