QMC Queensland Multicultural Centre
ZIGGI MABEYE DIAGNE born in Senegal, West Africa and now based in Brisbane, Queensland, is an international musician and dancer extraordinaire – an expert who has mastered the arts of traditional and contemporary West African music and dance. He has been acknowledged as being one of Queensland’s finest artists by the inclusion of Kaouding. one of the many original songs he has written, composed, arranged and performed, in the Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre’s “Echoes Three” CD which was launched at BigSound on Thursday 8 September 2016.
Born into a family of Griots (traditional musicians), ZIGGI grew up learning and playing the music and songs of his family’s heritage, acquiring the knowledge traditionally passed down from generation to generation. It was in this environment that he learned to play firstly the Sabar (traditional hand drum) and Tama (talking drum), and later the Kora (West African harp), Djembe (West African drum) and Guitar, and in which he started his musical career, at the age of 14, performing with his family, in the Ngewel Diagne Group. This solid background in music and dance gave him the grounding and experience he needed in order to become an international world music artist.
In 1989 ZIGGI was noticed by Baaba Maal, the renowned international world music icon who was then emerging on the local Senegalese music scene, and recruited by him into his band. The reputation of Baaba Maal and his band spread quickly, leading to a record deal with Island Records (of Bob Marley ilk) and a decade of international touring. ZIGGI was a percussionist, dancer and choreographer for Baaba Maal and the Daande Lenol Orchestra throughout this period, touring extensively throughout Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand appearing in most, if not all, of the major festivals and venues in these countries.
During his extensive career ZIGGI has shared the stage with Youssou N’Dour, with whom he also performed in a video clip called Live TV, Lucky Dube, Cheikh N’Digel Lo, Salif Kieta, Oumou Sangare, Koffi Olomide, Femi Kuti, Cheb Khaled, Omar Pene, Carlos Santana, Ziggy Marley, and Tokyo-based musicians Mamadou Lo and Abdou Baye Fall, and his expansive recording career includes the release of five albums of his own in addition to having been a featured performer on recordings with Baaba Maal, Assane Thiam (of Youssou N’Dour’s Super Etoile Group, who is widely regarded as the world’s number one Tama (talking drum) percussionist, and Ernest Ranglin.
In Australia ZIGGI has collaborated, in both performing and recording, with many local artists including: Grace Barbe, Sarftah, Funkalleros, Electric Kora Land, Akwaaba, Shangara Jive, Beleza, Dunumba, Cornucopia, Payne’s Find, Safara, The BordererS (Tales of Love and Loss+Rise Up), Afro Mandingo with King Marong, Lamine Sonko and Joe Tee & Afrodisa, and with touring group Jaaleekaay. Spirit afriki Page 2 of 4
ZIGGI was the recipient of a WAMI Award for his song Mame Cheikh Ibrahim Fal: and won Best Folk & Roots Music Video – International 2013 in the Australian Independent Music Video Awards 2013 for his video Youssou N’dour and the Super Étoile from his album ZIGGI VIBES.
He has wowed festival audiences in Australia, Europe and Japan both as an individual artist and fronting his group, ZIGGI BEY JAN, appearing to great acclaim at numerous venues and events including those in Perth and Western Australia, where he formerly resided, including the Kings Park Festival; and at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the National Folk Festival in Canberra. He headlined the 2016 Africa Day Festival in Brisbane with his ZIGGI BEY JAN TRIO, and the 2016 Queensland African Communities Council Gala Dinner; has entertained at the Queensland Multicultural Centre; as a solo artist at the QUT Kelvin Grove Campus and at numerous corporate events and functions.
ZIGGI created, composed, co-ordinated, and was the hugely popular and universally loved and celebrated lead performer of, the live music Soundscape for the original – and by far the best – incarnations of Nick Cave’s “HEARD BRISBANE 2016”, the prestigious major performance work which (previewed for the media on Friday 2 December, with ZIGGI appearing on the Channel 7 News that evening) was presented to the public over multiple performances on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December 2016 to open the Gallery of Modern Art’s major free exhibition of 2016, “Sugar Spin: You, me, art and everything”, and simultaneously headline GOMA’s Tenth Birthday Celebrations. A week later, on 11 December 2016, he wowed Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art Members with his unique original music and the fantastic energy he and his ZIGGI BEY JAN TRIO brought to their 2016 Christmas Party.
ZIGGI MABEYE DIAGNE, performing as a solo act or leading his group, ZIGGI BEY JAN, in a variety of configurations tailored to each event and its budget and incorporating the best musicians available, brings decades of performance experience into his live shows, in which audiences will experience and enjoy fantastic fusions of energising and infectious West African music, both traditional and modern, including ZIGGI’s own original works, intertwined with reggae, jazz, rock and funk elements, realised on a variety of both traditional and modern instruments, including Kora, Djembe, Tama, Guitar, Bass and Kit Drum, and delivered in a unique and thoroughly engaging style, to create outstanding events which are great for both listening and dancing.
Shows can be tailored to many performance settings, including festivals, concert venues, corporate events and workshops, restaurants, bars and private functions, in configurations from intimate solo shows or duos up to large festive bands.
ZIGGI is also a highly experienced and talented provider of workshops in West African drumming, dance and singing for both adults and children of all ages, and can provide ongoing tuition and choreography as well as unique, energising, enjoyable and bonding experiences which are excellent for festivals, corporate team building sessions, schools, parties, events, functions and fitness.
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