Marong has been performing professionally since the
age of 12. Marong developed his talents in the coastal
fishing village of Bakau where he was born and grew
up exposed to griots and international musicians who
were his mentors and role models. In his late teens
he formed his band Kunta Kinteh and later toured in
The Gambia, Senegal, Europe and the UK.
Marong has built an international reputation as a master
Gambian percussionist of many African drumming styles
on instruments such as the Djembe, Boucarabou, Doundoun
and Sabar, teaching percussion to students from around
Since arriving in Australia,
has developed a reputation as being a versatile and
dynamic performer. He has worked with local West African
and Australian artists to introduce the complex and
powerful drumming rhythms, melodic kora music and vivid
dance style of his culture to Australia. His involvement
in many collaborative projects has enabled him to work
with both local and international musicians including
energetic live percussive dance music with local DJ’s,
to the sleek and sophisticated ‘afro-jazz-reggae-fusion’
of his band Super Afro Mandinko. For this project
has been collaborating with some of Melbourne’s premier
musicians, playing and arranging the traditional songs
of the Gambia with a contemporary feel.
has had a strong working relationship with the Boite
World Music Café, contributing to the Melbourne Millennium
Chorus at the Melbourne Concert Hall as a solo artist.
has also represented his culture on many occasions in
performances around the state through his close work
with Multi Cultural Arts Victoria.
Now a resident in Melbourne,
has taught percussion to students from the USA, Europe,
Netherlands, Scandinavia, UK, Japan, Australia, NZ and
Canada. He performs regularly at festivals, ceremonies,
private celebrations, corporate functions and has been
artist in residence at many government and private schools
His band King Marong and Safara, formed in 2001, is
an acoustic, percussion-based representation of the
many traditional songs and dances performed for local
Senegambian ceremonies in both the city and the villages.
Safara incorporates vocals, djembe, sabar, doundoun,
kora, dance, cow bell and shakers in a spiritually inspiring
repertoire of dynamic tribal rhythms and visually stimulating
dance routines specific to Senegal and The Gambia.
King Marong Safara Music School:
A cultural ambassador for Senegambia,
has created the Safara Music School in Melbourne where
he teaches hand percussion and dance on various levels.