Aboubacar Camara is a master drummer from West Africa with family roots in Guinea, Conakry, and Dakar, Senegal. As a child he trained for seven years as a professional dancer and drummer with the Troupe D’Enfants of the Republique of Guinea (Children’s Troupe of the Republic of Guinea). From 1997-2002 he was the leader of the professional performance group Bougarabou located in Dakar, Senegal. Under his leadership they toured and performed in Japan, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Australia and Switzerland. From 2004-2006 Camara worked at Walt Disney’s Universal Studios as the leader of his own group Africa Sanké (Root of Africa).
Camara speaks French and English as well as several West African languages. His repertoire includes a wide variety of traditional African rhythms as well as the accompanying dances, songs and stories. These include: Koukou, Sinté and Sonsoriné (from the Beyla and Boké regions of Guinea), Lamba and Mandiani (from the Malinké people dispersed throughout Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Burkino Faso and Mali), and Liberté, a dance created by Laurent Camara to celebrate Guinea’s national independence.
Since moving to Oklahoma in 2012, Camara regularly teaches African drum and dance classes and also does djembe drum repair. He gives lecture/demonstrations on the significance of drum, dance, and song in West African culture and does residencies and workshops at schools, colleges, and universities. He has revived his percussion group Africa Sanké and they do performances at public and private events as well as celebrations, weddings and birthdays.
Camara and his wife, Catherine John Camara, live in Norman and are employees of the University of Oklahoma.