Bamidele Dancers & Drummers
Founded in 1983 by Bamidele Osumarea (1947-1995), the Bamidele Dancers & Drummers are now led by Marilyn M. Sylla. The ensemble includes Sekou Sylla, dancer, acrobat and drummer from Les Ballet Africains, the National Dance Company of the Republic of New Guinea, West Africa; as well as performer and recording artist, Jamemerrell Stanley.
Marilyn and her ensemble have studied and performed in West Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Europe. Marilyn and Sekou have served as adjunct faculty at Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Greenfield Community College.
The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers performed for Nelson Mandela in Boston in June, 1990. In addition, the group has performed with folk singer Pete Seeger, and has appeared in the film Luxor. It has traveled throughout the United States to universities, various festivals, and cultural events and was selected Best World Beat Group of the year in the Pioneer Valley. Bamidele have released two CDs- “Live” and “United” in addition to an African dance instructional video, “Wofa Baron.” Their CD “Live” contains rhythms from their program and other African and African-rooted music.
We loved the Bamidele Drummers and Dancers. It was informative and great fun for faculty and students. EVERYONE gave it a 100% hands up! Thank you for the quality of the Young Audiences performances. The program enhanced our curriculum and gave our students an awareness that Black History is global. The music and dance engaged our youngest to our oldest participants. I would highly recommend this performance to other schools and academies.
The whole program was very engaging from beginning to end and beyond—all the students and teachers were moving!
Thank you so much for sharing your joy and love of music and dance with all my students…They loved it because of your enthusiasm. I loved it because you brought to life the music we had been studying.
I think it was an amazing experience. I loved how the cultures were merged.
We loved the show today. The Bamidele Dancers and Drummers were fabulous! All students and staff enjoyed themselves. It was great to see so many kids getting involved, they had a blast.
Thanks so much for such a fun program! Marilyn and Sekou had all of our students up and dancing. This program was a great addition to their social studies unit on Africa and a fun way to end the week. We received great feedback from students and teachers. Thanks, Marilyn and Sekou!
“Both staff and students thoroughly enjoyed The Bamidele Dancers and Drummers. Students described it as fun, motivating, and comfortable. It was an amazing experience and we are all so grateful.”
“Sekou and Marilyn are so talented. Their energy is electrifying and they show the children so much love. It truly felt like family came to visit.”