Director of West African Drumming Ensemble at the River Campus
Born in Conakry, Guinea, master drummer and dancer Kerfala Bangoura began his professional career in 1990. He has performed with numerous private ballets in Guinea, including the Macaca Ballet, Kounkoré Bamba Ballet, and Ballet Fareta, where he received his attestation and diploma – a certification of artistic excellence – in both drumming and dance, enabling him to work with the national performing ensembles of Guinea. Named “Master Drummer” by the Guinean Ministry of Culture in 2008, he was a featured djembe soloist for two of Guinea’s national groups, Percussions de Guinée and Les Ballets Africains, for over 8 years. Since his arrival in the United States in the spring of 2009, Kerfala has worked extensively as a performer and educator. He has taught at the University of Oregon and the University of Rochester, as well as numerous classes, workshops, and performances at elementary, middle, and high schools in Portland, Oregon. With his performing group, Mounafanyi, he opened Portland’s African Film Festival in 2010, and has also won a grant from Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). Currently, Kerfala teaches at the University of Rochester, leading a percussion ensemble in the music department, as well as teaching dance classes in the Program of Dance and Movement.