Beyond Ebola Benefit Featuring Message from Guinea at Jazz Alley

guinea_2The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in partnership with Guinea Arts Cooperative welcomes Message from Guinea as part of their BEYOND EBOLA benefit series supporting families directly and indirectly affected by Ebola in the Republic of Guinea. Abdoulaye Sylla (Krin, djembe, shekeré, vocals), Aboubacar “Boka” Kouyaté (guitar, vocals, djembe), Lamine Soumah (djembe, Dunduns, vocals), Mamady Mansaré (Malinke flute, vocals) Manimou Camara (djembe, Dunduns, gongoma, Krin, vocals), Naby Camara (balafon, vocals) and Ousmane Sylla (shekeré, vocals). Show time at 7:30pm, doors at 5:30pm. Tickets available at

The Republic of Guinea is a culturally rich yet economically poor nation in West Africa that has been severely impacted by the enduring Ebola outbreak. With little infrastructure and no social safety nets, Guinean people must struggle on their own in the best of times to eek out a living. Ebola has led to border closures and travel restrictions, limiting the availability of and raising prices for basic goods and services, such as food, gas, medicine and transportation. Schools are shuttered, leaving young people with no access to public education. Public gatherings are cancelled, cutting off employment opportunities for artists; market goods are unattainable, leaving merchants without goods to sell, and outside cultural tourism, such as the exchange tours led by Seattle-based Guinean artists, has ground to a halt.

BEYOND EBOLA is a series of fundraising community arts events produced by the Seattle-based Guinea Arts Cooperative to generate resources for essential goods and services for the Guinea-based families and extended personal networks of Guinean artists living in the Seattle area, and to provide additional food-related assistance to the broader community in Guinea through a partnership with the UN World Food Programme.

United by a passion to share their cultural heritage on a global level, Message from Guinea is a group of extraordinary Seattle area Guinean artists who have come together to spread a message of joy, unity, and transformation. The members of Message from Guinea grew up living their musical traditions in Guinea, West Africa, where indigenous drumming and dance are still woven into contemporary everyday life. Some began performing competitively as children, receiving training from cultural luminaries, growing into artists of the highest caliber, and touring the world with top companies such as the internationally-renowned Les Ballets Africans, Guinea’s national company.

Message from Guinea utilizes percussive and melodic instruments that historically served the role of calling people together for important occasions, including births, deaths, farming, hunting, the arrival of kings, and the initiation of battle. Employing powerful rhythms, high-energy dances, and melodic songs steeped in the rich cultural heritage of Guinea, the charisma and virtuosity of Message from Guinea opens hearts, ignites passion, and enlivens audiences.

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