Sogbety Diomande

Ohio Heritage Fellowship Information
West African drummer and performer Sogbety Diomande is receiving a 2013 Ohio Heritage Fellowship for Performing Arts. A drummer and dancer from the Ivory Coast of West Africa, Diomande has brought his native art form to the rural community of Mansfield, Ohio. He shares his art form through artist residencies in schools, universities, correctional facilities and local festivals. Additionally has a loyal following at his weekly drum circles. He is an active member in civic events in the Mansfield area providing ethnic diversity and culture to the community. He uses his art form to raise awareness of the need to respect and honor human diversity in hopes that the knowledge gained by participants will lead to the desire to learn more about African cultures and other ethnic groups. He is on the roster of the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Artist-in-Schools program, Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio and Dayton’s Muse Machine and is a former master artist through the Ohio Arts Council’ traditional arts apprenticeship program.

Sogbety Diomande has been drumming since his early teens, playing the traditional drum music of the West African region in which he was raised. Diomande began learning by observing drummers in Toufinga, a village in Ivory Coast. During a North American tour with the Ballet National de Cote d’Ivoire in 1994, Diomande played doun doun and djembe.

Since moving to the United States in 1997, Diomande has performed with a number of dance companies, including the Mask Dance Company; the Kotchenga Dance Company; Company Kobake; the Djoniba Dance Company; and Tokounou, a Guinean dance and drum company. He also performed on Jimmy Buffet’s tour in 2000 and as a resident artist at Disney World’s Harambe African Village. More recently, Diomande has been teaching drumming , in the U.S., including regularly teaching in his adopted home of Ohio.

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