About

About

ZANSA BIO:

The music of Zansa, a Nouchi slang word from Ivory Coast meaning “combination” or “blend,” is a synthesis of traditional and modern styles of West Africa. The Asheville, NC-based ensemble melds modern afropop with African folk music, African drumming, and the fiery dance-oriented Ivorian street music called Zouglou.

Zansa is led by 33rd generation West African musician Adama Dembele, a native of Ivory Coast, whose family lineage is recognized internationally as “Djembeso” or House of the Djembe. With years of international performing experience, Dembele relocated to Asheville, NC in 2005 to start his own project.  With Zansa, he has continued to develop and expand his sound, now singing in multiple languages- French, Baoule, Bambara, and English, creating a multicultural mix of original songs, traditional stories, and impassioned music.

Today, Zansa is taking those traditional African songs and rhythms and incorporating Western instruments, such as electric guitar, acoustic and electric violins, bass, and drum set, offering a wide range of sonic possibilities. The music is rooted in the West African drumming tradition Dembele was born into and blended with a modern approach, lending familiarity to foreign sounds. The result is an original take on the authentic music of West Africa.

ZansaBio<- click to download

 

PERSONNEL/INDIVIDUAL BIOS

ADAMA DEMBELE: lead vocals, djembe, congas, percussion

PATRICK FITZSIMONS: guitar, vocals

SEAN MASON: drumset

RYAN REARDON: bass, vocals

MATT WILLIAMS: acoustic and electric violins, electric guitar, vocals

 

WORKSHOPS:

Adama and  Zansa also offer African drum and dance workshops to all ages and abilities.
Click the to view or download a pdf further describing these offerings. Print version is available upon request.
African Drum and Dance Workshop pdf

 

A SELECTION OF THE INSTRUMENTS PLAYED ON “DJANSA”

Djembe Goblet-shaped drum, played throughout Africa.

Djembe
Goblet-shaped drum, played throughout Africa.

Various shekeres (aka shakers) Made with shell of various nuts, or beads. Pull or shake to play.

Various shekeres (aka shakers)
Made with shells of various nuts, beads. Pull or shake to play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tama (aka Talking Drum) Played with a stick and a hand, with flexible tension stringing for pitch variation.

Tama (aka Talking Drum)
Played with a stick and a hand, with flexible tension stringing for pitch variation.

Dundun, sangbang, kenkeni Dundun (aka doun doun) is the largest of the three. Kenkeni is the smallest.

Dundun, sangbang, kenkeni
Dundun (aka doun doun) is the largest of the three. Kenkeni is the smallest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krin (aka log drum) Made from one piece of hardwood, khadi, beng, or hari varieties. Played with sticks

Krin (aka log drum)
Made from one piece of hardwood, khadi, beng, or hari varieties. Played with sticks

Kanye ka, aka Kanye West, played with metal scraper

Kanye ka (aka Kanye West)
Played with metal scraper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violins L to R: 7-string, 5-string, 4-string, 4-string acoustic

Violins
L to R: 7-string, 5-string, 4-string, 4-string acoustic.

Godin Multiac Nylon-string acoustic/electric hybrid guitar

Godin Multiac
Nylon-string acoustic/electric hybrid guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toy Piano

Toy Piano

Conga Drums Left to right: Conga, Tumba. Sometimes a third, smaller drum is used, called Quinto. Collectively these drums are referred to as congas.

Conga Drums
Left to right: Conga, Tumba. Sometimes a third, smaller drum is used, called Quinto. Collectively these drums are referred to as congas.