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Oumar Keita

Musician Oumar Keita, a native of Guinea, now resides in Missoula and performs with the Djebe Bara group.

Two master drummer-dancers from West Africa will take the stage on Friday for the World Rhythms Concert, a concert that will feature local groups as well as University of Montana student ensembles.

Oumar Keita and Manimou Camara will perform with the UM West African Ensemble and the local Djebe Bara dancers, sharing traditional dance and instrumental pieces from Guinea.

Also on the docket, the UM Brazilian Ensemble will share two different types of sambas: a traditional, and samba reggae from the Salvador region. A "bateria" solo will spotlight the drummers.

Keita, a native of Guinea in West Africa, will be familiar to local aficionados of African music and dance. Since moving to Missoula with his wife, he joined the Djebe Bara, a community dance and drum group, and has branched out into gamelan with local group Marik Harum.

Keita began performing at an early age, singing and writing traditional music and also learning to rap in three languages.

Keita plays traditional instruments like the bolon, gnoni and N’gongoma, which accompany his singing. Since 2009 he has been a musician in the nationally recognized Ballet Saamato of Conakry, Guinea. Primarily a dundun player, Keita is also a dancer and djembe player. For the past two years, he played with Wofa percussion in Conakry.

Camara, a performer and teacher, has worked with popular groups in Guinea such as Ballet Merveille and Balle Saamato.

He now directs his own groups in Seattle, Manimou Camara and Denbaya. As lead djembe player for a traditional group, Message, he teaches workshops around the region in addition to drum and dance classes in the Seattle area.

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, at the Dennison Theatre at UM. Tickets are $11 general, $6 seniors and $5 for students.

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