Born in Ouagadougou at Burkina Faso, Amadou Kienou is the 7th son of a family of praise singers from Dafing origin, originating from a tribe which settled down at the ancient Mandingue Empire. This tribe has extended right up to Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali. Praise singers (Griots) from father to son, they are very popular and renowned dancers and singers in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso. Most of them are musicians by profession.

Amadou has been initiated in music in his family mostly by his father, the late BABA KIENOU. In the sixties, this distinguished and famous traditional praise singer and musician brought his personal touch to big national and cultural events like the famous Djandjoba, and also to other African countries later on. Accompanied by his family, he perpetuated with his own touch what he had learned from his father and grand father in the Great Mandingue.



This ancestral flame was generously transmitted to the children by their father. These very talented children are solicited by several companies in Burkina Faso, Africa and elsewhere for the elaboration of great projects be it in the music, theatre or dance domain.

At younger age, AMADOU showed particular interest in the musical instrument, the Djembe. After much practice he has developed a great skill and is now referred to as "the drum master of Burkina Faso" since the years.


Amadou uses a new and unique way of conceiving music and performing it in a spectacular way. Due to the deep experience the Kienous have from their musical backgrounds, Amadou is able to draw upon this and demonstrate it during his live shows. He has a deep and varied Mandingue repertoire and mastery of the instruments is fundamental.


Amadou strives to increase the significance of the djembe by revealing its sacred aspects, and therefore, he introduces the instrument into all his musical compositions. For him, the djembe is not only an instrument of accompaniment but is also an instrument which is to be accompanied by additional instruments.

The djembe is a universal instrument, and Amadou is deeply familiar with it. It is a part of him, and with it, he draws and paints with resonance and expresses his passions and desires through the instrument, the music, as well as with the pure Mandingue tradition.

By revealing the djembe, Amadou wants to show that it is a musical instrument with its own unique identity.

The path to the mastership of the Djembe is long a requires discipline and dedicated learning with a Djembe master. "The djembe is not only a musical instrument, but an instrument we live with, and through it we can express our emotions” Amadou says.


During his solo concerts, Amadou expresses his mastery of the djembe and plays it with talent and ease, endlessly offering new and rich sounds in an astonishing and creative way. On stage, he is always smiling and joyful, and in an abstract way, is able to represent an entire orchestra.

Like no one else, he can play both the djembe and the tama simultaneously. This is a technique that makes it a marvel to watch.


The varied repertoire of Amadou Kienou consists of songs, dances and musical soundings of the Mandingue rhythms. Some of which he has adapted for the drum, such as: Senoufo, Senegalese, Peul, childhood songs, love songs and rhythms from the forest.


His music is known for its peculiar musical variations, its vibrating sounds and resonances, all of which is a product of several cultures. Various concerts in Africa, Europe, South America and North America have enabled the group to develop a rich, interesting and diverse repertoire, wherein the musical and personal touch of Kienou is readily recognizable.

Amadou's music can be heared on his CD's

AYA FO, Amadou Kienou et son Ensemble Foteban

recorded in 1999

SYA, Amadou Kienou
Solo album

recorded in 2004

Listen to a sample of
Amadou's drumming...

TAABALI, Amadou Kienou et son Ensemble Foteban

recorded in 2006

Listen to a sample of Kienou laka
Listen to a sample of Baba Kienou

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