Musician, storyteller, scholar, historian, the griot has served an important function within West African cultures for centuries. The Griot Summit Conference taking place November 26-28 at  The Graduate Center of the City University of New York will bring together émigré griots now based in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States to explore how they have adapted culturally and professionally to life in America.  

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is pleased to support The Griot Summit Conference through its Folk Arts Outreach Project, which promotes exchange between traditional artists, folklorists, and the public. Artists participating in this project include Cheik Hamala Diabate (Mali, ngoni), Abdou M'baye (Senegal, percussion), Tapani Sissoko (Mali, vocals), Salieu Susso (Gambia, kora), Kewulay Kamara (Sierra Leone, talking Griot), and Mamady Kouyate (Guinea, guitar). The folklorists are Steve Zeitlan (City Lore, NY), Marilyn White (Kean University, NJ) and Timothy Mangin (Ramapo College, NJ). The project is being hosted by globalFEST, inc.

In addition to closed sessions, the conference will include a free-to-the-public lecture/ demonstration Griot Traditions Across West Africa on Monday, November 26th at 7PM, and a ticketed, public concert on Tuesday, November 27th at 7PM. Both events will take place in Elebash Hall at The Graduate Center.

For more information visit: or email Liz Martin

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