Mangue Sylla

Since 2003, Mangue has served as musical director for Drum Cafe NY, a global leader in team building and corporate events. As the company’s lead drummer and arranger, as well as one of it’s primary teaching artists, Mangue has travelled throughout North and Central America bringing his boundless energy to Drum Cafe’s workshops. In addition to his busy schedule of performing and teaching, Mangue serves on the accompanist staff at both The Ailey Extension and Barnard College.

Originally from Guinea and now based in New York City, Mangue is well versed in both traditional rhythms as well as contemporary musical styles, and has mastered an array of traditional African instruments. His 2007 debut album, Kon Koura, showcases a traditional West African percussion ensemble performing both folkloric songs and Mangue’s original compositions. His latest project, NOLLER/SYLLA – a collaboration with jazz drummer Jeremy Noller, brings together traditional West African rhythms and contemporary jazz to create an exciting and accessible mix of pulsing grooves and soaring melodies. Their self-titled EP was released in March 2019 by Outside in Music.

​Born in Conakry, Guinea, Mangue began studying music at the age of 7. Focusing initially on the sangban, his early teachers were among the foremost masters of Guinea’s tremendous drumming legacy.  Mangue learned the roots of his musical culture, studying the traditional-style drumming that has been passed down for generations in Guinea’s villages. ​

In 1993 while performing at a ceremony, Mangue was noticed by prominent choreographer Kemoko Sano, and toured Africa with Merveilles  until 1998 when he left Guinea for New York City.    Since his arrival in the U.S., Mangue Sylla has become one of the most in-demand teachers and performers of West African drumming.

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