Thierno Camara

Thierno Camara


When you add raw, ancient traditional African music flavor from the East to its contemporary counterpart styles from the West, you get the unique sound that is the music of Thierno Camara, Solo Artist and Bandleader of the WAAW band.


Thierno Camara (Composer/Bassist/Singer-Songwriter) was born in Senegal, West Africa in 1969 to an upper middle-class family, speaks at least 4 languages (Wolof, Arabic, English, French) fluently, and was expected to follow in the footsteps of his family, to become a businessman or perhaps a politician� but Thierno�s heart has always been in music. As a child he convinced his parents to let him study classical piano and flute with a retired Russian composer who had moved to Senegal and was teaching music there, but secretly while Thierno was alone, he experimented with electric guitar and began composing the songs that he �heard in his head�.

At the age of thirteen Thierno and his friends at school started a rock group called �Laser� where he first played piano to an audience. Laser performed locally, playing a repertoire of American Rock cover songs at high schools and small festivals.

Growing up in Senegal, of course the traditional music of Africa could be fealt in all Thierno�s earlier compositions, however he had been playing mostly western music until he started his own group at the age of 15 called �Tabala�, named after an ancient African folk instrument. This was where Thierno first experimented with the genre now referred to as AfroPop, fusing traditional African and Western music forms directly in his compositions.

Up to this point Thierno had been a pianist, but one day the bassist of Tabala unexpectedly quit the group and the band was immediately in need of a bass player for shows that were already scheduled. In a bind and unable to teach another bassist the songs in time, Thierno decided to take up bass while the guitarist switched to keyboard. He had to teach himself bass guitar and quickly, but it soon became his favorite instrument (so remains until this day).

As Tabala became more popular on the local music scene, Thierno was noticed by Pa-Copa, saxophonist from the popular Senegalese band �Golden Baobab�. Pa-Copa, a well respected, experienced musician of another generation took Thierno under his wing and taught him the essence of Jazz.

At the age of 19 Thierno and his friends formed a new band called �Sora� to focus on creating roots African music. The group included many experienced griots (traditional musicians by birthright). This and other experiences helped shape the distinctive sound Thierno Camara has today, a danceable fusion the Eastern music from his homeland with the Western forms he had learned in his youth.

After Sora, Thierno toured the World as a freelance musician with some of Africa�s greatest stars including Moussa N�gom, Cheick L�, Kine Lam and Thione Seck. In 1998 Thierno finally settled in the United States, where he has accompanied such great American artists as Ornette Coleman, Black Mouth Sound, Greg Osby, Memphis Blake and Cornelius Kreush, while continuing to persue his own musical career.


Get Together (on sale now)

Thierno Camara is currently in the process of recording 2 new albums with his bands and a solo album:

WAAW Band (to be released early 2009)
Thierno Camara Live (date TBA)
AB Trio | Afro-Brazillian (date TBA)

Set List