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Article

Vera H. Flaig

(b Balandugu, Guinea, West Africa, 1950). Drummer, director, and teacher of Guinean birth. Mamady Keïta began his official apprenticeship with the village djembéfola at the age of eight. By his late teens, he was lead drummer of Ballet D’Joliba. By 22 he became the company’s first drummer to act as artistic director. Upon his retirement from the ballet in 1986, Keïta played briefly for the national ballet in Côte D’Ivoire before settling in Belgium where he founded an international djembé school called Tam Tam Mandingue.

Keïta came to live in the United States in 2004. At his first official workshop as an American resident, Keïta announced: “I spent fifteen years cleaning up the djembé drumming in Europe. Now it is time to do the same in America.” Despite the growing popularity of the djembé, Keïta was surprised by the lack of understanding about its history and music within American drum circles. Keïta, together with six other ...

Article

Nolan Porterfield

Member of Lomax family

(b Austin, Jan 21, 1921; d Portland, Nov 27, 2009). American folk music performer, scholar and arts administrator, daughter of John Lomax. She was introduced to folk music and music scholarship at an early age and was educated at the University of Texas (1937–8), Bryn Mawr College (BA 1941) and the University of California (MA 1970). From 1941 to 1952 she was a member of the Almanac Singers and participated in the recording of such albums as Talking Union, Citizen CIO, American Folk Songs and Songs of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. She continued her work in folk music after being appointed assistant professor of anthropology in 1963 at California State College, Northridge, where she rose to the rank of professor in 1974. In 1977 she became director of the Folk Arts Program of the National Endowment of the Arts; she is credited with establishing folk arts programmes in virtually every state and territory of the USA by the time of her retirement in ...