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Arouna Diarra, originally from Burkina Faso, West Africa, is an accomplished n’goni and balafon player. Performing a tradition of folk songs reflecting topics from war to building love for one another, Arouna sings with spirit, nostalgia, and great joy in his native language, Bambara. Arouna brings a dynamic repertoire to the table, full of timing changes and improvisational prowess. He plays the kamale n’goni, a 14-string harp-like instrument (which he makes himself), with a melodic and percussive sensibility.
Arouna was born into a family composed of musicians, poets, and storytellers. A twelfth-generation musician, he was destined to bring traditional West African music into the modern day, further developing it while remaining true to its roots. Whether performing on stage at Red Rocks or intimate community settings, Arouna brings joy, harmony, and a connection to traditional folk music.
Zaza Diarra (voice, marakas, and dundun) was born in Burkina Faso and has a great passion for music. She is deeply involved in the local music scene and manages Arouna Diarra LLC alongside her husband. She also founded, and is the director of, Immanuel Care for Children, a childcare center located in Phoenix.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.