Rhythm Nomad

Massamba Diop

Massamba Diop is a master of the tama or talking drum from Senegal, West Africa, and the co founder of The Senegal-America Project. He has worked with Afro-pop superstar Baaba Maal and his Daande Lenol Orchestra since its inception over twenty years ago. During that time he has incorporated the fiery Wolof traditions of his homeland into a contemporary sound. His music reflects the ancient origins of his instrument and the cosmopolitan environment of Dakar, Senegal's capital, where his work with Baaba Maal began. As the lead drummer in Baaba's band Massamba has performed at just about every major venue on earth. These include: The 2012 London Olympics, London's Royal Festival Hall, Mandela Day at Radio City Music Hall, and The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremonies. In addition to his work with Baaba Maal, Massamba has performed and/or recorded with Peter Gabriel and Afro-Celt Sound System of England, Ernest Ranglin and Luciano of Jamaica; Anita Tarika from Madagascar; and Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Tony Vacca, and James Brown from America.

The SENEGAL-AMERICA PROJECT has grown from the initial collaboration between Tony and Massamba Diop, into a network of musicians, teachers, social activists, film makers and health care professionals. With the help of partnerships with institutions and individuals, they've done recordings, helped build and staff a new school, donated 2750 mosquito nets, held free diabetes screenings and follow-ups treatment, and much more. 

During the past fourteen years Massamba Diop and Tony Vacca have been bringing together the traditions of their music and the peoples of their countries. They've created two CDs ("Rhythm Griots" and "The Senegal-America Project"), a video documentary on their work, and sixteen U.S. tours in support of the Senegal-America Project.