Daniel Dambele

Daniel and older brother Vieux

Daniel and his older brother Vieux Dambele, playing the orozo (calabash harp)

Daniel is the youngest of five brothers, the eldest of which is Baba, aged 29. They are a family of Bobo griots (called anu in Bobo). The Bobo are an ethnicity from south-east mali who have settled in Segou and have their own distinctive repertoire although they are also conversant with Mande griot music.  The Dambele brothers perform as a group at local festivals and at life-cycle events such as marriages and child-naming celebrations. They are all multi-instrumentalists, specializing in the Bobo balafon called chonzo, the bara (gourd drum), and the orozo (a 12-16 string calabash harp). Largely self-taught, Daniel showed exceptional talent from a very early age – musical instruments were his toys - and was composing his own music by the age of four. His little nephew, Karaba, shows signs of being as talented and motivated as Daniel. Daniel has also been a participant in the Mali-Cuba project: see Mali-Cuba.com

Daniel Dambele con balafon

Daniel playing the chanzo 

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© Lucy Durán, Nicolas Magriel, Geoff Baker 2011