MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2018
Amadou Kouyate is the 150th generation of the Kouyate family of Manding Diali (oral historians/musicians of West Africa) and the first generation born of his father’s lineage in America. Amadou performs a musical montage on the 21-string Kora, and rhythmic presentations on Djembe and Koutiro drums. His repertoire ranges from traditional songs from the 13th century to contemporary original compositions incorporating blues and jazz riffs. In addition to his solo work, Amadou Kouyate performs with his world rock ensemble Proper SKANKS as well as with Farafina Kan, the international duo project WEEDOU Everything!, The Kouyate Family/ Memory of African Culture and past performances with African American Dance Ensemble, Images of Cultural Artistry and Mamaya African Jazz. His credits include performances at The Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, The NAMM Show, Bristol Academy and Isle of Whyte (England), Tim Festival (Brazil), Lowell, Baltimore Rhythm Festival, East-Lansing and Dayton National Folk Festivals, Intersections Festival (DC), DanceAfrica DC, Atlanta and Chicago, with The National Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall with Sweet Honey in The Rock, National Geographic, The Creative Alliance and the Victoria World Rhythm Festival.
Amadou received the Maryland Start Arts Council Governor’s Citation, The Maryland Master/ Apprentice Award and other artistic awards from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Special Talents and Musical Theatre Scholarships at Howard University and Levine School of Music. Amadou has studied in Mali, Senegal, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire with master musicians of the Djali tradition including Djimo Kouyate and Toumani Diabate. Amadou Kouyate was also an Adjunct Lecturer of African Music and Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, and director of the African Drum Ensemble, and Artist-In-Residence at Montgomery College of Rockville, before pursuing his career as a professional solo artist and collaborator full time. Amadou was a also Artist In Residence at the renowned Strathmore Music Center, and a teaching artist at the Wolftrap Organization for the Performing Arts, and has lectured and performed both nationally, and internationally, and continues to present worldwide.