AROUNA DIARRA & THE AZA BAND
Arouna Diarra, originally from Burkina Faso, West Africa, is an accomplished n’goni & 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. Arouna, a twelfth generation musician was destined to bring traditional West African music into the modern day, further developing it while remaining true to it’s roots. His live performances often welcome a diverse group of musicians performing as the AZA Band. Musicians frequently joining Arouna onstage include percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown of Rising Appalachia. Whether performing on stage at Red Rocks, the jungle of Costa Rica, or intimate community settings Arouna and his band bring joy, harmony, and a connection to traditional folk music.