Gabriel Fara Tolno

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About

I have created successful career, despite challenges as a professional West African dancer, drummer, teacher and director in the United States for the past twenty years. I become well known as a leader, creator and organizer in the African dance community as well as in the professional music industry.

Self-Motivated, Visionary, Creative, Perseverant, Entrepreneur, Community Outreach, Energetic, Dedicated, Producer, Director, Choreographer and Accomplished Musician

Born in Guinea, West Africa, I spent my youth in the village of Kissidugu and Guinea’s capital city, Conakry. I began playing the djembe drum at the age of nine, performing in ensembles at the age of 15, including nine years as the lead drummer for Les Merveilles de Guinea (The Wonders of Guinea) under the tutelage of West Africa’s most influential director and choreographer, Kemoko Sano. This National African ballet performed all around Africa and Europe, bringing me to the United States to perform in major Theaters in 1998.

For the last 20 years I have been in the United States sharing my culture, teaching, and earning a MFA, and playing with musicians of all kinds Genre, I founded two different performance company and I teach at numerous colleges and universities as well as teaching community drum and dance classes for students of all levels.

I founded Project Drum, which is an organization focused on bringing West African music and dance into schools (and other organizations) by working with students, training teachers and performing in schools. I have provided access to the rhythms and dance of Guinea through the Rhythm Reference Project (an online library) and Camp Merveilles, an annual nationwide music and dance conference, both of which I founded.

I completed my Master of Fine Arts in dance at the University of Colorado in 2012. I have taken this knowledge and found ways to relate and merge the art forms of dance and music from West African and the Western world. I shares this new and innovative perspective when teaching in community and university classes, and training members of my ensemble and companies.

my energetic and compassionate teaching style makes me one of the most sought after drum and dance instructors in the United States. As a solo artist, I have performed with many of the world’s premier musicians including Mamady Keita, Burning Spear, Neil Young, Sekouba Bambino, BB King, Otis Taylor, Joe Cocker, Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita, Habibe Koite, and many more. have been a member of many different bands and assisted with many musical recording projects and shows throughout the nation. My performance style has been described as “mystical” as I dazzles audiences around the world.

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Vocal Characteristics

Languages

English (North American), English

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Voice Ages

Child (5-12), Teen (13-17), Young Adult (18-35), Middle Aged (35-54), Senior (55+)

Voice Over Skills

Animation, Audiobooks, Business, Documentaries, Educational, Internet Video, Movie Trailers, Podcasting, Radio, Telephone, Television, Videogames, Voice Assistant

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Studio

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