Farafina Kan
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Farafina Kan

Band World Funk

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Apr
13
Farafina Kan @ Madame CJ Walker Theater

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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Music

Press


DANCE - Monday, December 10, 2007; Page C05

Even if your taste in music runs to sonatas and your idea of dance is "Swan Lake," Farafina Kan will knock your socks off. Saturday at Dance Place, this local American-born West African drum and dance ensemble boasted rock-solid drumming, tight ensemble work and fierce energy. It's powerful stuff.

The dancing is better than that of many other American-born African troupes. The energy is grounded, and movements flow. Yet the musical ensemble is what powers this troupe, which has benefited from the far reach of West Africa's post-independence national ballet companies of the '60s. After touring Europe and the United States, a number of company members settled there. Some even achieved a measure of international fame, including djembe (urn-shaped drum) greats Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate, Fadouba Oular¿ and the late Djimo Kouyate. Farafina Kan's New Jersey-born founder, artistic director and lead djembe soloist, Mahiri-Fadjimba Keita, studied with them all. It shows in his skillful improvisation above the repeated, interlocking patterns of the ensemble.

As a troupe, Farafina Kan isn't afraid to experiment. While much of its stage repertoire is rooted in stage-oriented, traditional fare from places such as Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Ivory Coast, new works like "Kuku: Funk-di-fied" incorporate Western drums, played by guest artist Ricky Payton Jr. "Nankama," featured in the group's superb first music video (directed by Genell Canty and shot in Guinea), is a song that mixes hip-hop, funk and African music, and it works beautifully because the creators are equally proficient in all traditions.

-- Pamela Squires - Washington Post


Discography

Only The Water Separates Us (2005)...Live performance CD

Photos

Bio

Farafina Kan (literally translated as the sound of Africa) is a professional performing arts company dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the history, integrity and representation of traditional African drumming and dancing through high quality performance and professionalism. Farafina Kan is a family of young artists who have been reared and engaged in the West African Performing Arts for the majority of their lives.

Led by two brothers - Founder and Artistic Director, Mahiri Fadjimba Keita and Managing Director, Diallo Sumbry, along with their other brothers, sisters, cousins and children, Farafina Kan is taking traditional West African drumming and dancing to new heights. Whether performing traditional rhythms, songs and dances; or seamlessly fusing traditional rhythms and songs with contemporary arrangements, Farafina Kan always ROCKS THE HOUSE!

Farafina Kan specializes in a myriad of performance & workshop formats that can include our full ensemble or a select cast. From theatrical concerts, to outdoor festivals, to a series of school performances or residencies for any age, Farafina Kan is the choice for you. Farafina Kan is an all-star talented family of artists who embody the souls of their ancestors and have taken the helm in helping to shape the future of West African music and performance.
WE LIVE WHAT WE DO AND WE ROCK!