Bamidele Dancers & Drummers

Bamidele Dancers & Drummers - African Dance performances for school assemblies in Massachusetts

Bamidele Dancers & Drummers – African dance performances for school assemblies in Massachusetts.

Wongai! Rhythms of West Africa, Brazil & the Caribbean

Discover celebratory West African dances and their adaptations in Brazilian and Caribbean cultures, set to the rhythms of African drumming in an interactive performance that is guaranteed to bring all ages to their feet. This program features authentic costumes and instruments and can be adapted to include narration on African art, culture, and history.

Target Grades: Pre-K -12
Audience Limit: 250
 45-60 minutes

PRICING (performance/day)
Single: $735   Double: $1,176  Triple: $1,544   Quad: $1,838
Travel Fee: $100 per day
Note: pricing may vary for weekend/out-of-school time

Bamidele Dancers & Drummers Entertain in Westwood, MA
African Drum & Dance Workshop at Rosenberg Fund for Children’s 2008 Family Gathering.

Post-Performance Workshops

Marilyn Sylla of Bamidele Dancers & Drummers making masks with studentsIn addition to African dance performances, the Bamidele Dancers & Drummers offer several hands-on workshops that allow students and teachers to integrate West African, Brazilian and Caribbean culture into their classroom. Options include drumming, dancing, and mask making.

Workshop Length: 45-60 minutes
Participants: 25–50 students (depending upon workshop)

Pricing: $375 per workshop (includes three artists)
Travel Fee: $100

Video: African Dancing and Drumming Workshop

West African & Caribbean Drumming Residency

Sekou Sylla of Bamidele Dancers & DrummersSekou Sylla of Guinea, West Africa, teaches students to play percussion music from Guinea and Senegal, and some rhythms from the Carribean. They will learn basic polyrhythmic drumming styles and techniques for playing the main African percussion instruments: the djembe, djun djun, songban, kenkeni, log drum and African-inspired drums from the Caribbean and Brazil. They will also learn the cultural background and traditions associated with the instruments and the role of each drum within associated musical tradition. Students will develop their listening skills and coordination, work together as a group, and gain the confidence that comes with working toward a performance.

$125 per workshop
Travel Fee: $50 per day
Minimum three workshops plus one culminating event.
For all residencies, a one-time planning session fee of $125 will apply.

Bamdiele Dancers & Drummers: Performance Requirements

Bamidele Dancers & Drummers: Educational Materials K-5
Bamidele Dancers & Drummers: Educational Materials 6-12

The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers was founded in 1983 by Bamidele Osumarea (1947-1995).  The company, based in Amherst, Massachusetts, continues under the direction of Marilyn M. Sylla. The group is proud to have in residence, Sekou Sylla, dancer acrobat and drummer from Les Ballet Africains, the National Dance Company of the Republic of New Guinea, West Africa. Mrs. Sylla and members of the group have studied and performed in West Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Europe. Marilyn and Sekou are adjunct faculty at Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Greenfield Community College in Western, MA. Members of the group conduct ongoing community and private classes and offer concerts, workshops, and residencies.

The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers performed for Nelson Mandela in Boston in June, 1990.  In addition, the group has performed with folk singer Pete Seeger, and has appeared in the film Luxor.  It has traveled throughout the United States to universities, various festivals, and cultural events and was selected Best World Beat Group of the year in the Pioneer Valley. Bamidele have released two CDs- “Live” and “United” in addition to an African dance instructional video, “Wofa Baron.” Their CD “Live” contains rhythms from their program and other African and African-rooted music.



We loved the Bamidele Drummers and Dancers. It was informative and great fun for faculty and students. EVERYONE gave it a 100% hands up! Thank you for the quality of the Young Audiences performances. The program enhanced our curriculum and gave our students an awareness that Black History is global. The music and dance engaged our youngest to our oldest participants. I would highly recommend this performance to other schools and academies. – Principal, Saint John Paul II Academy, Boston, MA

The whole program was very engaging from beginning to end and beyond—all the students and teachers were moving! -Arts Coordinator, Pingree School

Thank you so much for sharing your joy and love of music and dance with all my students…They loved it because of your enthusiasm. I loved it because you brought to life the music we had been studying.-Music Specialist, Page School

I think it was an amazing experience. I loved how the cultures were merged.
-5th grade student, Page School

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. For programs more than 60 miles from Shutesbury, MA, a start time of 9:30 or later is preferred. Have questions or ready to schedule? Click the “Scheduling Inquiry” button below.