Continental Africans make up over four percent of  Montgomery County’s population, with Ethiopians being the dominant African immigrant group. The diversity within the African community is tremendous and includes immigrants from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Liberia, South Africa, and Mali, to name few of the largest groups. Through performances and teaching opportunities, African-born musicians, dancers, storytellers, and visual artists connect to and inspire the broader community. Watch for future Artist Stories in this section.

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Cheick Hamala Diabaté: Griot Greatness Part 2

Cheick Hamala Diabaté tells how he developed his unique style on the  n’goni, a traditional Malian instrument. Listen to part two of his story.


Cheick Hamala Diabaté: Griot Greatness Part 1

Malian multi-instrumentalist and singer Cheick Hamala Diabaté tells how his family of griot storytellers helped shape his internationally renowned career. Listen to part one of his captivating story.


Lesole Maine: Dancing in the Key of Life, Part 1

Dancing was a part of everyday life for Lesole Maine while growing up in Sebokeng, South Africa. It was first through ballroom dancing and later modern dance that he found the art to be true calling. Hear his story.


Lesole Maine, Dancing in the Key of Life, Part 2

Once he joined Sylvia Glasser’s South African-based dance company, Moving into Dance, Lesole Maine gained greater insights into the world of professional dancing. Listen as he talks about his arrival to Montgomery County and why it’s an ideal place for him to thrive.


Lesole Maine: Education through Dance

Although Lesole Maine lives in Montgomery County, he hasn’t forgotten the impoverished townships of South Africa. Listen as he talks about how he hopes to upgrade the educational standards of South Africa’s townships through his International EduDance Project.


Lesole Maine Podcast

Listen to the entire interview with Lesole Maine, conducted by noted ethnomusicologist Mark Puryear.