19x24” pencil on bristol by Dave Kobrenski. I met Facily Conde in the Faranah region of Guinea, West Africa. A respected elder in his village, Facily was also renowned as a great djembefola throughout the region. I met him because he was the teacher of my own teacher, Sayon Camara, who has, in turn, taught many others about the musical tradition. In this way, the tradition continues, in the same way it always has: being passed from generation to generation.
In this drawing, I was inspired by seeing a group of elders meet in the village center to discuss matters of importance to the village. It was early morning, and the bright sunlight was just beginning to stream between the village huts and baobab trees that encircled the meeting area (bara) in the village. As I regarded Facily’s expression of concern, I thought about how the “greater good” of the community as a whole was always at the forefront of conversation.