Prunuslaan 43, 2612 VL
22 Daniel Goddard Street
Banjul, The Gambia
Tel no: +220.393635
Fax: + 220224154
Oko Drammeh, a well known Gambian music promoter and
event organiser was born and bought up in Banjul. He
has travelled far and wide in Europe, Africa and America
and has vast experience in music.
Drammeh was born and raised in the Gambia, West Africa
and grew up as a disc Jockey for radio stations, night
clubs and social events, listening to western pop and
rock music on the radio, while being influenced by the
traditional music of Africa.
He founded the African Music Festival in Delft, Holland
in 1983 as a taste of home for Africans living in Europe.
The event quickly became popular with the Dutch people
and soon became a major tourist draw every summer, attracting
fans from England, France, Germany and the United States.
He is a producer, ethnomusicologist and founder and
chairman of the African Music Festival, one of
the oldest and largest international African events
which will celebrate it's 20-year anniversary in 2003.
In addition to producing several CDs in the Soto
Koto catalogue for Higher Octave Music, which now
are distributed by Virgin, Drammeh also has produced
documentaries on African music and culture for BBC,
written articles for Downbeat magazine and he has organized
a host of festivals, concerts, symposiums and other
cultural exhibitions. He is also the creative force
behind The Soto Koto Band.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2003, the African
Music Festival has brought the stars of Africa to the
international public. Drammeh introduced stars like
Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Youssou Ndour (Senegal),
Toure Kunda (Senegal), Mory Kante (Guinea) and Salifu
Keita (Mali) to the attention of the international listening
public. He was also instrumental in introducing the
music of, among others, Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Randy
Weston (USA) Manu Dibango (Cameroon) and Osibisa (Ghana)
to European audiences.
The cultural diversity between the artists is immense,
in such a way that visitors of the Festival can really
sample the musical history of the African continent.
In addition to the Netherlands, the Festival has also
been held in Africa and the United States. Drammeh also
has produced events in France, Germany, England and
Scandinavia. He has been one of the most consistent
forces in the promotion of African music and culture.
As organizer of the renowned African Music Festival,
this Gambian-born producer, now residing in Europe,
has been a major force in presenting a great variety
of African singers, composers and instrumentalists,
from the traditional to the contemporary as well as
In 2001, Drammeh brought the Night of the Griots on
a U.S. tour that exposed the culture, music and instruments
of the Manding people to American audiences in the first
step of a cultural exchange between Banjul, the capital
of The Gambia and Austin, TX. The events, which took
place in several U.S. cities, were recorded for an upcoming
"Music, as a reflection of our emotion
is our way of love and communication with the Universe,"
In 2003, the African Music Festival will open offices
in China and Japan to share the great diversity of African
music and culture with Asian audiences.
He was involved with many organisations, which later
established the Movement of Justice in Africa (MOJA),
and he took part in many of the pocket meetings and
we had radical groups that even sabotaged government
utilities. He was arrested following the failed coup
in 1981 and charged with treason as he had fought as
a group and battalion leader. He was kept in various
detention cells and was lucky to be released alive as
quite a few died in the cells.
Sotokoto Band, Rebecca Atanga, Jaliba Kuyateh and the
Afro Beat Gang.