Djibril Diagne

Griot drumming lifestyle in Perth

Meet Djibril Diagne: born into a special destiny as the eldest son of a griot family in Senegal in West Africa, Djibril started playing drums when he was only six years old. Over many decades he has grown into a highly respected cultural leader and master drummer with a reputation that extends across Australia and back home to Senegal.

He has travelled the world performing as a lead djembe player and musical director for some of Senegal’s most famous ballets, including his own Ballet African. He plays several types of traditional drums including the djembe and sabar. Sabar are a set of drums played with both hand and stick, allowing incredible subtlety and energy from the musician.

These rhythms of the Wolof tribe are slow and languid, then energetic and insistent, and are peppered with intricate “baks” (breaks) and traditional singing. Djibril, who will be playing at Multicultural Futures’ next World Music Café on 6 December 2020 at Roleystone, has a deep commitment to carry on the traditional work of his ancestors and share the living history of Senegalese music, drumming and dance with new audiences, teaching new students and keeping his culture alive for future generations to experience.

Hear him talk about bringing his craft to Kalgoorlie where he works, and other stories like him drumming a message to his brother instead of calling him on the phone.