Sidiki Dembélé

One of the strongest soloists and most respected lead drummers in the UK at the moment

– Brett Schlesinger, Drumcafe

Hailing from the Ivory Coast, griot Sidiki also specialises in the ngoni, a traditional west african stringed instrument. Sidiki is currently resident in the UK where he is lead soloist for the worldwide touring show Afrika Afrika.

Born in Abidjan, the commercial capital of Cote d'Ivoire, Sidiki  is the second son of a Griot family. The Griot tradition is one which has spanned centuries of civilisation in West Africa, and has been passed down through the generations, carrying with it an ancient culture of story-telling, communication and celebration. In West African culture, the Griot family has traditionally been responsible for carrying news, folklore and diplomacy between villages, nomadic tribes, kings and warriors, using dance, music and song. Historically, the power of performance in this most ancient of civilisations has been echoed throughout the nations of the world; and perhaps the most evocative and emotive instrument in routing enemies, communicating with allies and rousing nations to unity is the drum. Raised in a family whose generations have been steeped and driven by these traditions, from the age of fourteen Sidiki has played percussion instruments professionally and in particular the Djembe drum of West Africa, to herald and celebrate significant events in the life of his community in Abidjan. He has taught adults and children to play and shared his passion for music with them, his enthusiasm and dedication an intoxicating source of inspiration to those who meet him and who see him perform.

In 2007 Sidiki was the solo percussionist picked at a national level audition, from a sixty strong cohort of hopeful djembefolas from all over Cote d'Ivoire, who played their hearts out for a chance to play with some of the most talented performers from all over the continent in the concept circus show, Afrika!Afrika! Sidiki caught the eye of Georges Momboye, the celebrated lead choreographer, who called Sidiki the next day to invite him to start work in Germany. Between 2007 and 2009 Sidiki toured mainland Europe, principally as the percussion lead musician of the orchestra with Afrika!Afrika!, but also for periods of time with Drumcafé, a London based company. Recent projects include a six week run of workshops, developing the talents of a group of young people from the refugee community in Wigan, leading to a local performance. Sidiki provides regular workshops in schools around the country, meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum, and focusing on diversity awareness amongst British schoolchildren and 6th Form students.