sanza percussions

& Sadio sissokho


Sanza Percussions et Sadio Sissokho is an acoustic music project featuring a repertoire of traditional and creative music from West Africa.

Photos by Chloé Gélinas-Séguin

Our project explores the fusion of the sanza(African thumb piano) with the kora(African harp), both in original compositions and creative arrangements of traditional griot music. Our kora-sanza-fusion is a unique alchemy of sounds from two ancient, rare and relatively unknown instruments.

This project is innovative and one of a kind. There are only a few sanza players in Canada and Sanza Percussions et Sadio Sissokho is the only group that uses the sanza in Mande music.

The group members are : 

Sadio Sissokho (Kora, Tama & Lead Vocals)
Trevor Ferrier (Sanza, Cajon & Asheiko Drums)
François Séguin (Sanza & Caxixi) 
Julie-Anne Ricard (Calebash Percussion, Asheiko Drums & Backing Vocals)



Sanza Percussions et Sadio Sissokho is the most recent project by Trevor Ferrier and Sadio Sissokho, but its roots trace back ten years to their work together in drumming classes where Trevor was a student and later an assistant to Sadio. In addition to the percussion work, they began using the kora and sanza together in order to play in more intimate settings.

They performed as a duo in small venues and teamed up with saxophonist Bryan Highbloom for concerts in Montreal.

This led to the creation of the group, Mafrica with the addition of Mathieu Charrois on percussion and Valerie Ivy Hamelin on flute, vocals and dance. In their concert appearances, Mafrica's performances focussed on the explosiveness of the percussion music intertwined with kora and sanza compositions.

The music for Sanza Percussions et Sadio Sissokho was inspired by the balafon ensembles of West Africa with their polyrhythmic style, interlocking techniques (hocket), subtle harmonies and counter melodies.

It was the addition of a second sanza player, Francois Séguin that made this possible. Julie Anne Ricard complements Sadio's soaring vocals within her harmonies and responses. Both Julie Anne and Trevor provide percussion grooves to enhance the collective energy. Our hope is that we have created a music that celebrates importance of connection and harmony.

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