Dembis Thioung is a rare and mesmerizing master of the dunduns -the melodic and hypnotic West African bass drums. As the child of a Griot and Laube (drum maker) family, based in Dakar, Senegal, Dembis was introduced to the art of traditional and contemporary Senegalese musical techniques since he started making drums at a very young age. He continued his musical apprenticeship at the prestigious Blaise Senghor Centre Culturel, led by Djioncounda Ndaye, and at the popular Fass quarter in Senegal. The time spent with these illustrious companies pushed his innate talent further and he is now recognized by his contemporaries as being a professional and adept thiounguiste (percussionist), who has refined his knowledge of the Dundun, Djembe, Sabar and Asico drums.
Dembis came to the UK in 2010, whilst on tour with Ballet Daradji. Since then he has been in high demand, both as a performer and a teacher. He currently works for a number of companies, including Yaye Dib Sabar Dance Company, where he performs in company shows in world- famous festivals such as Womad. He teaches drumming to adults and to children in schools in partnership with Landing Mane (Jamo Jamo Arts) as well as with Akosua Boakye (AKOMAASA PERFROMING ARTS ACADEMY). He is also a core member of Irineu Nogueira’s Afro-Brazilian Dance Company ABEIE who has travelled with all over Europe. Furthermore, he also freelances for the following West African dance artists: Aida Diop (traditional West African), Almamy Camara (traditional Guinean), Batch Gueye (Sabar) and Alesandra Seutin (Germaine Acogny Technique).
Dembis is also a versatile independent performing artist and has played live, and recorded albums with internationally acclaimed artists such as Baaba Mal and Carlou D. He is a member of the drum band Mbolo Percussion, in partnership with Mohamed Gueye, the celebrated djembe player.
Dembis will be running two Dundun workshops (Intermediate and Advanced), and one Dundun dance workshop collaborating with Aida Diop.