Yaya Diallo

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Yaya Diallo (born 1946) is a Malian (Fienso, Koutiala Circle, Sikasso Region, French Sudan (now Mali)) drummer, author, and recording artist in the genres of traditional African music and world music. He specializes in the goblet-shaped hand drum called djembe.


Diallo was born to a nomadic Fula father and a Minianka (Bamana)from The Healing Drum, p. 8: "In fact, while the term Minianka is officially recognized today as the designation for Yaya's people, they do not refer to themselves by that name. They prefer to call themselves Bamana, which means 'those who refuse the master'." The Minianka language, however, is one of the Senufo languages. mother, and was raised within a culture in which the drum plays a major social and spiritual role. An instrument for transmitting traditional knowledge among the Minianka, the drum is the focal point of Diallo's life story and his link, through the universal medium of music, with the Western world.

Musical career

Diallo's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Université de Montréal and training in a variety of African instruments: Minianka tam-tam (talking drum), Senufo balafon (xylophone), Mandingo tama, or talking drum, and the Afro-Cuban congas. His 1980 debut album Nangape, an instrumental album of African drumming, balafon and flute music, brought recognition to his profound knowledge of traditional African healing arts. He has...
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