Fara first came to Japan in 1999 on tour with Mama Africa, a drumming troupe from his native Senegal, and has been based in Japan since 2002, finally settling in Fukuoka three months ago. He began playing drums when he was 10, and studied in the public music school in Dakar. Now a professional percussionist, he teaches classes in drumming and African culture, and is always looking for people to jam with. “The classes are about more than just drumming”, says Fara: “they’re a chance for Japanese and foreign people to learn about Africa, meet new people, and to try out percussion as a way of communicating and a way to de-stress.” Fara’s drumming style, using the West African djembe and Senegalese sabar, also takes in Latin congas and Caribbean bongo, and he has also engaged with Japan’s percussion tradition, playing in Kyushu with wildly successful taiko troupe TAO. Fara’s classes are on Fridays at Rhythm, 18:30~20:00, or check www.faradiouf.com for gig dates and performance videos or contact him on 090-5080-7979.
Hometown: Dakar, Senegal
In Japan: 7 years
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn127, Jul. 2009)