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The Dartmouth
June 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Doumbia, WMPE to perform tongiht

Abdoul Doumbia, a professional drummer who has been playing since he was five, will perform with his own trio as well as the World Music Percussion ensemble tonight in Spaulding Auditorium.

Doumbia, an accomplished professional drummer, completed 16 years of apprenticeship under Moriba Keita, moving on to work with a number of companies in Mali including the 47-member troupe, Babemba, and participating in the National Drum Festival of Mali as the representative of his region for eight consecutive years.

In an interview with The Dartmouth, the director of the WMPE, Hafiz Shabazz, said Doumbia was "very traditional in terms of technique."

"His playing is fast, compelling and powerful," Shabazz said. "His hand drumming has an incredible range -- he goes high, low and plays almost inaudible at times. It's like he is playing a scale on the djembe," he said.

Although he is a traditionalist, he blends various styles of drumming into his repertoire, from strict classical drumming to free-form improvisational work.

"The classical style, which Doumbia plays, is a formal context in which there is little freedom to improvise -- it calls up names of various lumnaries from their culture," Shabazz said. The recreational and ceremonial styles of drumming incorporate a greater degree of creative and expressive thought according to Shabazz.

In his latest, self-titled album, Doumbia entices the listener with a broad spectrum of drumming, which is at once technically flawless and emotionally expressive. Especially noteworthy is the diverse collection of material on the album, which ranges from "Maraka," a marriage and baptism rhythm, to "Dou-nou-ba," the "strong man's dance."

Joseph Mohammed (junjun) and Mousa Toungara (kora) will also perform alongside Doumbia tonight.

In 1991, Doumbia visited Brown University and has been teaching and performing in the United States since then.

Tickets for tonight's 8 p.m. concert are available at the Hopkins Center Box Office.