Sabouyouma is a high energy 7-piece polyrhythmic groove machine that formed through ongoing musical relationships in Burlington, Vermont’s vibrant West-African dance and drumming scene. Sabouyouma is led by Guinean-born Ousmane Camara: the band’s front man, composer, and master Balafonist (the Balafon is a West-African marimba).
In 2017 Sabouyouma opened for nationally touring acts like Xenia Rubinos (Brooklyn), Polyrhythmics (Seattle), Ikebe Shakedown (Brooklyn), and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra (Asheville, North Carolina), and has performed at music festivals that have become staples of the Vermont music scene: Burlington Discover Jazz Fest, Waking Windows, and The Manifestivus.
Ousmane Camara is a 6th generation Griot: Historically, in West Africa, Griots passed messages from the king throughout the kingdom before pen and paper. Griots continue to play an important role in Africa today as poets, musicians, singers, and historians, preserving their ancient traditions through song. At the age of seven, Ousmane left his family’s home to go live with his teacher, Djeli Sana Camara. He would study and play balafon with his teacher for the next fifteen years. Ousmane continued to play throughout Guinea and traveled through nine other African countries. He has subsequently taught students from around the world.