Crocodile River Music
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Crocodile River Music

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2016
Band World Afropop



The best kept secret in music


"Heritage students get a taste of West African culture"

“Students were so moved by the performance that an impromptu flash mob broke out on the gym floor,” Principal Kathleen E. Pastore said.

“By offering cultural experiences to young learners, we expand their awareness of the customs practiced by people of other countries and the common values we share. Students make connections when multifaceted lessons are delivered through the arts,” he said. - Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"Crocodile River Music Brings African Rhythms To Walsh Middle"

“The town of Framingham is known for its rich cultural diversity. Thereby, our school is composed of students from various cultural backgrounds. Walsh is a school that embraces student diversity as its greatest strength. We celebrate their heritage as this enhances their feelings of belonging to the Walsh family. Walsh is a space that is physically and culturally welcoming,” said Lackard on why she wanted the musicians to play at her school. - Framingham Source

"In Natick, musician shares passion for African drumming"

Zachariah Combs likes to perform for an audience, especially one made up of children or teens. But he doesn’t like the kind that sits silently at attention, listening to his music and holding their applause until the end of the piece.

“African drum music is not meant for people to sit back in their chairs and observe,” he said. “It’s not concert music; it’s participatory music for a ritual or ceremony or celebration. It’s music to get up and take part in, not watch.”

“We had 75 middle school boys on their feet dancing,” he said. “You’d expect boys this age to say ‘Get outa here; I’m not doing that.’ But they forgot all about trying to look cool and let their primal instincts take over, because dancing to African drum music is just so much fun. It was awesome.” - The Boston Globe


Sababu by Balla Kouyate

Avancer by Thierno Camara

An Ka Ben by Issa Coulibaly

Foliba by Issa Coulibaly



Crocodile River Music is a team of performers and arts educators specializing in African and African-influenced music, dance, and art experiences. Using the universal influence and connectivity of African rhythms and melodies and a participatory performance style, we engage with audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and capabilities.

Zach Combs, Director of Crocodile River Music, fell in love with the rich and diverse cultures of West Africa while in Mali on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. With his Malian friend and teacher, Issa Coulibaly, Zach founded Crocodile River Music in 2011. Together, they set out to provide opportunities for emerging and established artists from Africa and evoke new ways of cultural thinking in our communities.

As word about the mission of Crocodile River Music spread, requests poured in to expand into schools and community groups. In response to this demand, Crocodile River Music launched African Arts in Education, a fiscally-sponsored project created to bring African music, art, and dance education directly to schools in New England and beyond.

Today, Crocodile River Music continues to share the cultures of Africa through song, dance, and art that informs, connects, and inspires audiences. Since 2012, our team has worked with over 100,000 students on the East Coast.

Band Members