About

Master drummer Dramane Koné was born in Burkina Faso in West Africa and was soon recognized as a musical prodigy of the famous Kone griot lineage. By age 3, Dramane was studying djembe performance with his father and grandfather, both griots and master drummers with lifetime of drum experience. In his early childhood, Dramane's family, including young Dramane's musical education, was documented by filmmaker Taale Laafi Rossellini in the award-winning 1997 film Great Great Great Grandparent's Music.

From 1995-1996 Dramane taught music and repaired instruments in Burkina Faso largest art center, Centre National D'Artisanat D'Art. In addition to performing with the African drum and dance group, Landiana, Dramane was a member of the Kone family's group, called, Manding Djeli, playing African music, jazz, and blues.

From 2011-2013 Dramane played African jazz fusion with African Jazz Fusion, a rock and roll band in Los Angeles.

From 1999 to present, Dramane continues to perform with various musicans at concerts, theaters, and festivals.

Having established himself at a very early age, Kone is billed as a world-class djembefola and balafon perfomer. In more reflective moods, he has insisted that 'there is no such thing as a world's best musician' due to the subjectivity of music appreciation.

Do You Speak Djembe?
An Interactive Musical Performance

SuperSoul Sessions - Oprah Winfrey Network

For Series 3, we brought in 1,750 drums into Royce Hall at UCLA – a feat that’s never been done at SuperSoul Sessions! Every member of the audience has their own drum as they play along with the world-renowned group, Doug Manuel’s Do You Speak Djembe? Watch exclusive #SuperSoul content on http://www.SuperSoul.TV

In 1998-1999, Koné toured Europe with the the National Ballet of Burkina Faso Manding Kalou. The following year Manding Kalou recruited Dramane as lead soloist for another European tour. Following the second tour, Koné set his sights on travel to the United States, for a visit with his elder brother Mamadou Koné, also a well-known master drummer and griot. Visiting the U.S. to perform and teach, the Koné brothers found warm welcomes and decided to stay and relocated permanently (both are fluent in English, French, and African languages, and soon became U.S. citizens). After an extensive tour of Europe with Manding Kalou in 1999, when Dramane returned to America, Dramane formed his own performance group Djelia Kadi there. Dramane later relocated to Santa Monica, and Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, where he still resides.

Dramane formed his group Djelia Kadi in 2001 with djembefolas, balafon and dununfola players, and African dancers and acrobats. The group's initial raison d'être was as an educational seminar, as Koné taught each of the members their parts and basic west African rhythms and playing techniques on djembe, dunun and balafon. Soon it evolved into a musical/entertainment performance and recording ensemble. Djelia Kadi's 2002-2003 self-titled recording Djelia Kadi (in English: It's Good to be a Griot) features 8 tracks including Dramane's arrangements of such west African drumming classics as Djelidon and Mendiani as well as several of his originals featuring himself on balafon and lead djembe. Following the release of the first CD, Dramane continued to perform as a soloist and with various incarnations of his Djelia Kadi ensemble in the Bay Area (San Francisco).

In summer 2005, Koné performed as part of a multi-cultural group at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, and following that performance he stayed on for several weeks at a hotel and with American friends residing in southern California. During his stay he visited the tourist sites of Hollywood and became enamored with U.S. west coast film culture. "I love Hollywood, and I love America very much," he says. Koné also loves to laugh (his intense shrieking laughter is stunning). He also loves to entertain and make others laugh heartily. A lifelong fan of pop idol Michael Jackson, Dramane had a favorite photo of himself taken pointing to Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame altered in Adobe Photoshop® as if to insinuate that Dramane Koné's star will also rise to great heights and that his place in music history will also be one of adulation and global notoriety. When musicians get such crazy ideas in their heads, it's no simple matter to talk them out of their dreams! Ambitions are plentiful in this master drummer's world. Koné relishes his moments in the limelight and says that as a griot he is called to bring love and music to people.

Dramane is also an active music teacher in and around southern California. He joined corporate culture-enhancement 'organizational spirit energizer' service Drum Café West (California) in 2006 and continues to entertain and perform at corporate and special events year-round in the U.S. and abroad. Highlights of the many Drum Cafe performances include an impromptu jam session with piano/composer legend Herbie Hancock and a nightclub date at Santa Barbara's Soho Restaurant & Music Club performing with percussion luminary Luis Conte.

In 2010, Koné appeared in a FIFA World Cup TV ad with Colombian Latin/pop superstar Shakira. Later that year, Dramane was lead drummer with Drum Cafe performing at G'Day USA 2010 - Black Tie Dinner Los Angeles

In 2013, Koné studio musican and lead drummer with Stevie Wonder in Los Angeles.

In 2014, Dramane formed Djembe Fusion drum ensemble in Orange County, California, led by Dramane and consisting of members David Hilal, Doug Oliver, Lin Marelic, Olga Mordovchenko, and Jerry Bloch, and in 2015 added Mike Robbins on dununs.

In 2017, Dramane performed for Oprah Winfrey and filmed a SuperSoul Session at Royce Hall at UCLA, entitled Do You Speak Djembe?

Phone:  (831) 239-0922 Email: KoneDramane@hotmail.com
Skype:  dramaneUSA Facebook:   DramaneKone
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