MAMADI KAMARA
& Ancestral Rites

Mamadi Kamara Master percussionist, Mamadi Kamara, is acclaimed as one of Britains most versatile and accomplished instrumentalists. Born in Sierra Leone, he was an original member of Super Combo, that country's first internationally successful band. Residing in the UK, he has been in demand among musical groups of all styles because of his distinctive percussive voice, which ranges from high-energy rhythmic drama to free flowing conceptual artistry. Mamadi has played and recorded with African, reggae, soul and R8 B bands. Constantly extending his musical horizons, he has emerged as one of the most influential percussionists on the British/African jazz scene, working with artists such as Louis Moholo and Lester Bowie, Mervyn Africa, Harry Beckett, Andy Hamilton, Cameroon Pierre, Courtney Pine and Andy Sheppard.

When performing live, Mamadi plays four congas, two bongos and a wide assortment of percussive instruments with extraordinary facility and verve. He is respected as a world class percussionists for the brilliance of his rhythmic concepts. His international collaborations have included stints with Papa Wemba, Charles Ewange, Ali Farka Toure, Ronnie Laws, Roy Ayers, Archie Shepp, Randy Weston and Nina Simone. He has also played in the bands of late legends- Art Blakey, Don Cherry, Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor. Combining his eclectic musical flair with his deeply rooted African sensibility, Mamadi established his own band, Ancestral Rites in 1994.This band is dedicated to playing music that touches the spirit, which is also exciting and very danceable. The result is original music based on an African-Jazz fusion that is fresh and engaging. Ancestral Rites toured England in 1996-97 and has continued to work periodically while developing a new repertoire, which was previewed when the band opened the Clerkenwell Festival. Ancestral Rites performs as an eight to twelve piece ensemble, made up of musicians from several African countries, the Caribbean and Europe. Mamadi's professional partner and wife, Basha Letsididi-Kamara, from Botswana, adds her extraordinary vocal talent to the Ancestral Rites line up. During the last two years, Mamadi has continued to cross musical boundaries playing with Abana (Sierra Leone); King Masco (Sierra Leone); Shikisha (South Africa); Kojo Antwi (Ghana); Grace Decca (Cameroon) and with Billy Cobham and The Master Drummers of Africa. Mamadi has also conducted on-going classes for Unity Performing Arts and the Charteris Community Centre and workshops for the Jazz Festival; the CarAF Center; Jackson's lane Center and the Barbican etc..

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