In Guinea, West Africa, the drum speaks. It's the voice of the Djembe that is used by the Malinke to convey the history, culture, and tradition of the people. It is a voice so powerful, with rhythms so intoxicating that it defies borders, making the djembe a universal instrument. It is embraced by musicians and audiences around the globe. Balandugu Kan means the sound of the village of Balandugu in Guinea. The group was formed in 2000, in Conakry, Guinea. Later a Los Angeles branch was formed, led by Rahsan, and his son Kahlil. The mission began. In the year 2000, Mamady Keita insisted that Rahsan and Kahlil be messengers of Mandeng. And carry on the tradition, art, and spirit of not only Balandugu, but all of Africa. Since then, Balandugu Kan serves as a vehicle which will keep that spirit alive. Through each performance, or event Balandugu Kan honors the Keita family, and Karinkajan Konde, who made it possible for the djembe to reach this far. We also honor all ancestors, because it is with their permission that we use the djembe to bring peace, balance, morality, compassion, and unity. We also acknowledge the elders and leaders who are our teachers We stand as a revolutionary icon. Balandugu Kan represents liberation, and will continue to serve the community. We are disciples of change.
Balandugu Kan is an ensemble which consist of beautiful and elaborate colors of powerful African dance, and music. Very energetic on, and off the stage. Balandugu Kan is full of amazing performances, presenting stories, and touching songs, through ancestral percussive melodies. We are interested, and available for school shows, demos, lectures,classes, events, and community building. Check us out on Facebook, and youtube
Najite Olokun Prophecy
Son of an Urhobo tribal chieftain, NAJITE AGINDOTAN is a master percussionist who, from a very young age, traveled with the Urhobo cultural music troupe under his father's direction. They traveled throughout West Africa and performed at national festivals in their native Nigeria. A fervent participant, Najite devoted himself to theater performance, traditional dancing and drumming.
In his early teens, Najite was introduced to international superstar Fela Kuti and his original afrobeat music, a potent combination of Nigerian dance styles layered with funk guitars and Yoruba rhythms. Najite became Fela's student and, upon the death of his father, he was taken by Fela as his godson in a traditional ceremony at the African Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria.
After relocating to Los Angeles, California, Najite immersed himself in the arts of the African Diaspora. His talent and reputation grew as he worked with jazz luminaries such as Horace Tapscott's Pan-African People's Arkestra, Billy Higgins and Jimmy & Jeannie Cheatham. During this period Najite was also privileged to contribute to the work of African artists such as Remi Kebaka.
During his time in Los Angeles he has received several prestigious awards and grants. In 2000 He was recognized with a Congressional Award for Cultural Excellence by Representative Diane Watson, and has received grants from the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of California's Riverside, San Diego and Los Angeles campuses. In 1991 he received a NAACP Image Award as Best Musical Director for the stage play "Omalingwo".
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