Sekhou Senegal • Ousseynou Kouyate Cultural Dance & Drum Collective

West African music and dance

Sekhou Senegal is a West African music and dance ensemble created by twin brothers Ousseynou and Assane Kouyate.  Ousseynou and Assane were born and raised in Senegal, Africa, coming from a family line originating in Mali and Guinea.  They come from a long line of griots -- the poets, historians, storytellers, and keepers of West African song and dance traditions.

Ousseynou and Assane have been singing, dancing, and performing professionally since the age of 13 and were lead dancers and choreographers with Le Ballet National du Senegal and the Sinomew Ballet of Senegal.  They danced professionally with both ballets for over 5 years, touring internationally throughout South and North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Now residing in the United States, they are committed to educating people about their culture and sharing the profound beauty of their art.  As artistic directors and educators, they instruct classes and master workshops in Africa, Europe, and the United States.

In 2015, 2014, 2012 and 2011, Sekhou Senegal received a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program to support their annual Nuit du Bazin: Bringing in Peace, Love, and Unity, a West African ceremonial and cultural event.  "The purpose of the extravaganza is to create an image of West Africa through music, song, and dance while focusing on real life customs and traditions.  The evening is filled with pomp and grandeur, of traditional and melodious lyrics in Bambara, Mandinko, French, and Wolof…," observes Oussenyou.  The evening hosts a number of traditional artists from West Africa who are in residence over the weekend to offer workshops to the public in dance and music.  The event is widely attended by West African nationals who live in California.


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