Image Mandinka drummers
develop melodic
conversations on
tuned drums

About the Music

The principal Mandinka drummer for the National Ballet of Senegal for 25 years, Mamadou Ly (MA-ma-doo LEE) is a master of a music that has been thriving for centuries.

Image Mamadou Ly at home,
near Dakar

While spectators take turns dancing, Mandinka drummers develop melodic conversations on three tuned drums. The drummers' interlocking rhythms combine to create music with a high-energy dance beat.

To make this recording, Mamadou Ly returned to the Mandinka village Warang (wa-RAHNG), where he often played before joining the National Ballet. Additional tracks were recorded on the outskirts of Dakar.

Mandinka drums

For more about Mamadou Ly, see On the Road with Mamadou Ly (pdf format, 564 KB), from Drum! magazine.



"Mandinka Drum Master features Mamadou Ly, lead drummer and [a] founder of the Ballet [National] de Senegal. The drumming here is transcendent; Ly's mastery of tempo, timbre, and rhythm stunning."
--j. poet, PULSE!

"Anyone with the slightest interest in drumming (and not just ethnic drumming) should consider this as a 'must have' disk."
--Bill Tilland, OPTION

Audio Samples

[Button] From track 8, "Lenjen" ( MP3 format, 31 sec, 487 KB ).

[Button] From track 6, "Jambadon" ( MP3 format, 24 sec, 464 KB ).

Catalog Reference

Title: Mandinka Drum Master
Artist: Mamadou Ly
Cat. No.: VPU-1001 (CD)

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