M. Oko Drammeh

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Oko Drammeh is one of the leading promoters of African music festivals in the world. His festival in Amsterdam, launched in 1973, has grown into a major event, drawing more than ten thousand people annually.…
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Oko Drammeh is one of the leading promoters of African music festivals in the world. His festival in Amsterdam, launched in 1973, has grown into a major event, drawing more than ten thousand people annually. Drammeh organized the first African music festival in the United States, holding the fete at the John Anson Ford Theater in Los Angeles in September 1997.

Born in Gambia and based in Holland, Drammeh was one to accurately predict a increase in the popularity of Africa's music. Although there were few African musicians known outside of Africa, when he began the festival in Amsterdam, Drammeh has continued to widen his scope. In an interview with the L.A. TImes, he said, "There's a wide range of cultures in Africa. Music from the north is mostly stringed instruments and horns. From the Savannah, it's mostly drums because they have huge trees. I decided to base my program on generations -- past, present and future. A (veteran act such as) Hugh Masekela or Osibisa is the fabric. Samba Ngo is a young ZAirean guitar player. With this program, you have to mix it like a salad".