Master Drummer, Composer, and Choreographer Malik Sow, born in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, hails from the Fulani ethnic group of West Africa. Malik’s father was a French Marine of a noble family who swept the beautiful singer and dancer of a griot family off her feet marrying her soon after. Raised as a Christian, Malik’smother soon converted to Islam to honor her husband. All their children grew up worshipping at the mosque on Friday and at the church on Sundays. Malik (the oldest of ten children) one sister and one brother followed in their mother’s footsteps becoming performers of traditional music from the ancient Malian empire-which today includes the West African countries of Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Cameroun.
 

As a young boy in Senegal, Malik studied with Master drummer Doussou Koulibaly, and Master Dancer Karounga Shako. In 1970 Malik began a stint as lead drummer with the Ballet d’Afrique Noire, three years later Malik was honored to become the Musical Director for the National Ballet of Senegal, a position he kept for almost ten years, which led to his becoming the Director and

 
       
     
Choreographer for the prestigious les Ballets Africains, who have performed continuously around the world and are still considered to be one of Africa’s most important and influential cultural performing groups. During this time the enterprising Malik also found time to gain his Master Degree in Chemistry at the University of Paris in France, and at the University of Cheickh Anta Diop in Dakar, Sene
Gal. It was also during this time that Malik studied West African history becoming a fount of knowledge of the folklore and customs of the Fulani, Woloff, Mandinka, and Djola people of West Africa.
     

Malik’s musical career has spanned the globe, from performances in his home country of Senegal in West Africa, across all of Europe, Japan, and all over the United States. He first came to the U>S in 1984 where he drummed at the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in Florida. In 1986 he began performing for the United Nations, playing for such dignitaries as the Presidents of Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Nigeria, and Egypt. Since the late 1980’s Malik has taught all over the U.S. in places such as Irvington High School in Newark, New Jersey; Buffalo College of New-York; and the National Art Commission in Las-Vegas, Nevada; and has held workshops and classes in San Francisco, San Diego, New-York, Atlanta, Arizona , Hawaii ,and Japan. He was also featured in the African delegation of Athlete’s Parade at the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks to his world travels and extensive education Malik is fluent in nine languages: English, Spanish, French, Woloff, Mandinka, Fulani, Italian, German and Dutch.

Malik’s travels soon brought him to Los-Angeles, California, and in 1992 he founded, and continues as Music Director for, The FUTA TORO West African Dance Ensemble. He teaches drumming, dance and singing to students all over the United States and choreographed numerous commissions for professional dance troupes such as Dundu Dole in Clearwater, Florida, Kuumba Dancers and drummers in Tampa, Florida, as well as FUTA TORO  aka Mussukeba Sane in Los-Angles.

Malik has also appeared and performed in several feature films, including POETIC JUSTICE, starring Janet Jackson, DISTINGUISED GENTLEMAN with Eddie Murphy, and was also music consultant and co-composer of the soundtrack for Steven Spielberg’s AMISTAD as well as featured as an actor in the film. Malik has also been featured on many television shows, such as The ARSENIO HALL SHOW, FAMILY ACCENTS, and TRUE TALENT. Malik has also appeared on stage with such world-famous acts as The Rolling Stones, Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, Babatunde Olatunji, Mor Thiam, Karounga Sakho, and The American Ballet Theater’ Katherine Dunham.

In 1999 the multi-talented Mr. Sow completed work on the composition KUWA for the National Kodo Drummers of Japan, and won the Outstanding Authentic African Drummers Award at the International Children’s Festival sponsored by the National Institute of the Art of Tokyo. Most recently, in 2001, he was award nominated by N.A.A.C.P award for the best Music for the play “For the love of freedom, Part I. Along with selected members of his troupe, Futa Toro west African Dance Ensemble,Malik also leads annual cultural study tours to Senegal.

Today Malik makes his home in the Los-Angeles and teaches African culture, music, song, and dance to school children all over Southern California through his Music Center Program offered through the Performing Arts Center of Los-Angeles County.

          
                As Malik says;

                              “I was born a musician and have played various percussion instruments since I can remember-and probably before that. I have seen people laugh, cry, dance, and receive spiritual healing from music. Music is a gift I love to give “
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