Manding Jata Home
MANDING JATA performances feature 800 years of Manding cultural arts: Kora, Mandinka & Bambara balafons, ngoni, djembe drum ensemble, flutes, dance, masquerade, acrobatics and Mande songs of celebration… uniquely staged and culturally authentic.
A typical presentation features seven or eight performers but can range from five to as many as fourteen. If required, a smaller group program can be arranged.
“distinctive. . . powerful and intimate
Manding Jata performs with gusto.”
New York Times
Audio Clips from the Manding Jata CD “Sajoo”
Manding Jata presents the music dance and oral traditions of the Mande speaking peoples of West Africa. Manding Jata transcends colonial borders and refers back to the timeless cultural heritage of the great Mali Empire. Much of the repertoire comes from this golden age, between the 13th and 15th centuries.
Manding Jata presentations are a study in contrast. From the “delicate” and “angelic” sounds of the kora, to a full djembe drum ensemble. From the whir of the nyri nyro and subtle ambience of arythmical audience finger snaps, to the “magical” sonority of Mandinka and Bamana balafons…
Performances have been variously described as “transcendent” and “a complex cultural circus,” while the dancing has been described as “a dazzling display of strength, grace and acrobatics.”
The artists of Manding Jata come from the heart of Mande culture. They are jalis – hereditary musical and oral historians with a seven hundred year heritage as musicians and interlocutors to the royal courts of the Mali or Manding Empire. Almost all have served as principal musicians or dancers with their countries national cultural troupe before joining Manding Jata ~ the Lion of Mali. Audiences worldwide are celebrating this unique cultural experience.