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
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”