The music of Zansa, a Nouchi slang word from Ivory Coast meaning “combination” or “blend,” is a synthesis of traditional and modern styles of West Africa. The Asheville, NC-based ensemble melds African folk music with modern afropop, African drumming, and the dance-oriented Ivorian street music called Zouglou.
Zansa is led by 33rd generation West African musician Adama Dembele, a native of Ivory Coast, who began his music career in the late ’90s by founding drum & dance group Djembeso. He adapted traditional songs and rhythms, eventually molding them into his own style. After moving to Asheville, NC, in 2005, Dembele has continued to develop and expand his sound, now singing in multiple languages - French, Baoule, Bambara, and English.
Today, Zansa is taking those traditional African songs & rhythms and incorporating Western instruments, such as electric guitar, violin, bass, and drum set, offering a wide range of sonic possibilities. The music is rooted in the West African drumming tradition Dembele was born into and blended with modern approach, lending familiarity to foreign sounds. The result is an original take on the authentic music of West Africa.
Zansa will release their debut album Djansa on September 10, 2013