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Doundounba Festival


Date: Friday, May 17, 2024

Location: INTS 1128 & Zoom 

Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm

Admission: FREE

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024

Location: ARTS 100 & ATHL 102

Time: 8:30am-4:00pm

Admission: FREE


Register HERE



Friday, May 17 - INTS 1128 / Zoom Meeting

Documentary Screenings w/ Q & A       

  • 6:00pm: Doors Open / Registration
  • 6:20pm: Film by Xotchil Mendoza
  • 6:35pm: Drumming Bodies Dancing by Susanna Knittel 
  • 7:15pm: Children of the Soil: M’Baye Kante and Haniyyah Tahirah respond to El Anatsui’s Strips of the Earth’s Skin by M’Baye Kante
  • 7:30pm: Dancing with the Leaders of The Inland Empire Film Preview
  • 8:15pm: Community Forum including UCR Dance Department Critical Studies PhD Candidate Andrew Ssebulime
  • 9:00pm: Festival Adjourn 


Saturday, May 18

ARTS 100 

  • 8:30am: Doors Open / Registration
  • 9:00am: Drum class - Magette Fall 
  • 10:10am: Dance Warm Up - Makeda Kumasi 
  • 10:30am: Pan African Dance Continuity - Andrew Ssebulime,PhD candidate - Critical Dance Studies W/ DNCE 5 Showing
  • 11:00am: Master Workshop - Mbemba Bangoura 

ATHL 102

  • 1:00pm: Lunch
  • 2:00pm: Showcase Performances - Dancing with the leaders of the Inland Empire Preview
  • 2:30pm: Guest Performances by Loyola Village African Drum and Dance Ensemble, and Le Ballet de Kouman Kale 
  • 3:30pm: Community Doundounba with a $300 cash prize purse “Challenge” from Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire with Grand Prize Djembe from Wula Drums                                                                               *Competitors must attend the festival classes to enter the challenge.
  • 4:00pm: Festival Adjourn 




        A traditional West African rhythm and dance known as the dance of the strong man. It is a dance that showcases the heritage and culture of Africans and African Americans, and the values of strength, agility, vitality, community, communication, creativity, and holistic health. This dance was known to be used as a way to resolve conflict and disagreements in the village or with neighboring tribes in the Great Mali Empire of West Africa. Activities in The Doundounba Festival include film screenings, community discussions with artists and scholars, classes, a showcase and dance challenge. This highly significant rhythm and dance has been practiced for many centuries and represents multiple social and cultural values of various ethnic groups in the western region of Africa. The Doundounba is also an event that brings the community together to showcase the artists, and create awareness of its values and tradition. For the individual it represents one's creativity, agility, vitality, and strength. Culturally, it represents a rich heritage filled with pride, identity and power. The inherent West African traditions and values are expressed to the world through its intricate rhythms, song and dance.






Mbemba Bangoura

M’Bemba Bangoura is a true ambassador of the culture of Guinea, and one of the main exponents of the Djembe drum. He has traveled the world as a performer and teacher, and is revered for his high level of mastery. As a native of Guinea, West Africa, M’Bemba began playing the djembe at the young age of seven. He played in the Junior Ballet, G’basicollo, and then moved up to the City Ballet, Conakry I. By the age of twenty-one, he was invited to join Ballet Djoliba, the national company of Guinea. He spent more than 12 years in the ballet, as lead soloist, touring throughout Guinea, Africa, Europe and Asia. He led the next generation of master drummers, who were young, but still who grew up in Sekou Toure time (President/Dictator who led the independence of Guinea in 1959). Mr. Bangoura has a special place in djembe history because he maintains deep knowledge of his previous generation’s history, folklore, and ballet programs; while also staying current with development of the contemporary djembe scene. He has 4 personal recordings, has played with numerous artists, and is also a disciplined dancer, choreographer and teacher. He moved to New York in 1992 where he made a massive impact as a teacher and performer of the music of Guinea. Creatively, he is the Artistic Director, lead performer and facilitator for Wula Drum. He is progressing the educational and performance components of the company. 


Magette Fall

Magatte Sow (or Magatte Fall as many people know him) is a three-time GRAMMY Award-winner and credited drummer/composer for the Black Panther and Wakanda Forever films. He has performed with iconic artists including Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Andre Manga, Munyungo Jackson, Leon Mobley, Youssou N’Dour, Baba Maal, Salif Keita, John Legend, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Dianne Reeves, Debbie Allen, Pedrito Martinez and, Angélique Kidjo. In Los Angeles, he is a member of his father, Malik Sow’s group Fara Toro, and in Senegal he is a member of Generation Percu and Kondiof. He continues to travel to Senegal in order to learn and restore traditional connections that are alive through music. In Los Angeles, he now assists his father in teaching djembe and sabar through weekly classes to the community, and through The Los Angeles Music Center. He continues to perform with different artists in Los Angeles and serves his own community by drumming for dance classes. 


Le Ballet de Kouman Kele

Le Ballet de Kouman Kele means ''The Ballets of One Voice' in the Malinke language of West Africa. The Company is a 25 member group, which offers a unique performing arts theater.  These Cultural Ambassadors are highly trained professional Artists whose repertoire consists of many facets of African folk dance from the pulsating conga rhythms of the Caribbean to the latest hip-hop street steps, songs and theatrical staged stories, all accompanied by traditional rhythmic drumming and other musical instruments. Under the Artistic Direction of Nzingha Camara, this Company has been delighting audiences and the Community for over 30 years.




About Makeda Kumasi  

Makeda Kumasi is Founder / Artistic Director of The Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire (UEIE) and Co-founder of WE 3 PRODUCTIONS. UEIE is a performance group that has been “edutaining” audiences through an African art aesthetic for over two decades. Makeda has toured with two prominent Southern California based performance companies, Abalaye African Drum and Dance Ensemble, and Niancho Eniyaley African Dance Performers. Makeda holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Education from the University of Phoenix. She teaches West African movement classes across Southern California, at local community centers and at the University of California, Riverside as a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Dance. Makeda has written two books: 12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey, which is a journal of her sabbatical to Africa, and I See Hip Hop Afrika, a poetry/picture book, as well as produced a documentary short “12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey, Docu-Journal”. In 2023 She received several grants and recognition for her work as a Culture Bearer including the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Living Cultures Grant and California Arts Council / Creative Corps Inland Socal Individual Artist Project Grant. This year she was recognized by the Riverside Arts Council for her contribution to the Dance Community in Riverside.









Complimentary parking will be available in Lot 1. 


Step 1: Please click here to reserve your permit. 

Step 2: Enter your license plate in the “License Plate Number” 

Step 3: If the plate is non-California, select the appropriate state for the plate. 

Step 4: Press ‘Park’ 





Sponsorship: UCR Department of Dance, Center for Ideas and Society 

Additional sponsorship provided by: WE 3 PRODUCTIONS by way of Creative Corps Inland SoCal and the California Arts Council


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