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Photo Credit: Kathleen Dreier
Born in Senegal, West Africa in the small coastal community of Lebou, Elijah was raised in a culture that emphasizes piety, gratitude and respect for all others. He grew up with the strong traditions of West African music, dance and drumming. His move to Tucson, AZ in 1995 was followed by a business degree from the University of Arizona and a 20+ year career in banking and business development.
Along with his passion for music, Elijah has devoted himself to the founding of The Forgotten Children, a non-profit charity that raises funds to provide essential food, shelter, education and healthcare to orphaned, impoverished and homeless children in M'bour Senegal. He is responsible for the construction of a boarding school that can safely house and educate up to 100 children.The school opened in late 2022 and currently houses 25 students ages 3 to 11.
Photo Credit: Kathleen Benyak
Yacouba was born in the country of Burkina Faso, West Africa. As a griot or jalis, he is part of a tradition of West African historians, musicians and poets who tell their story with the accompaniment of instruments and song. He carries on that full Mandinka culture of music with his expert guitar playing and drumming. Yacouba has toured extensively throughout the world playing both traditional and contemporary African music. He moved to Tucson in 2016 and continues his love of guitar and drum with both Jaliya and West African Reggae artist General Tchefary.
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