Massamba Diop

Massamba Diop is one the most renowned masters of the tama, a "talking drum" from Senegal, known for its abilities to replicate the sounds of human speech. Before the advent of telephones and radio, it was the tama that announced important events and sent messages between villages. Recognizing the central role talking drums play in African cultures, Ludwig Gorensson decided to put it, and Massamba, front-and-center of his Oscar-winning score for Black Panther 

But long before garnering widespread attention as the sound of King T'Challa, Massamba was already a stalwart of the world music scene. For four decades he has toured alongside Baaba Maal, receiving a Grammy nomination for their album Firin' in Fouta. Massamba has recorded and performed with music greats like James Brown, Mumford & Sons, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, and Carlinhos Brown. He also appeared on Peter Gabriel's landmark release "Passion", which won a Grammy, and has made several appearances with Playing for Change's “songs around the world”. Massamba is a Remo Percussion endorsed artist, and in 2016 helped design and launch the “Tamani Talking Drum”, the first mass-produced tama available to the public. 

In 1993, Massamba and percussionist Tony Vacca co-founded the Senegal-America project, a grass-roots cultural exchange program sponsoring various educational, healthcare, and artistic initiatives on both continents. Massamba and Tony tour the Northeast each year with a variety of performances and school programs, from their Northampton, MA base. Other regular collaborators include Surabhi Ensemble in Chicago, Walo Walo in Portland (OR), and Total Rhythm in San Francisco. He currently calls Columbus, Ohio home.