Mamma Tongue

Mamma Tongue performs an exciting mosaic of African and American music by composer John McDowell as well as traditional West African music. The combination of African music and rhythms with contemporary American music is passionate and stirring. Mamma Tongue has appeared at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, the United Nations, and Festivals throughout North America and Europe. A smaller ensemble from the group can be hired for drumming workshops.

Composer/Pianist and Percussionist, John McDowell has performed internationally for the past twenty years and has appeared at most major music, dance, and theater festivals throughout Europe and North America (most recently Woodstock-99). He has appeared with such artists as Sting and the band Rusted Root. A prolific multi-genre composer, his music has been heard at major music, dance, and theater festivals throughout Europe and North America. McDowell has been recognized with many prestigious awards from both the Netherlands and the United States for “Musical Excellence.”

Vocalist Dadon Dawadolma was the most recognized singer in Tibet before she fled the country to work for Tibetan freedom. She has appeared around the world at various festivals including the Tibetan Freedom Concert.

Vocalist Jayon Anthony has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Apollo, and B.A.M.

Chris Rock show Percussionist Michael Wimberly plays and records internationally with groups such as: The Paul Winter Consort, Steve Coleman&Mac185;s 5 s 5 Elements, Parliament Funkadelic, and jazz artist Terumasa Hino.

South African Saxophonist/flutist Morris Goldberg is well known as a recording artist and performer throughout the world. Most notably, he has recorded on Paul Simon&Mac185;s Graceland album.

Bassist Ken Rich has recorded with David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, and Debra Harry.

Drummer Dave Johnson has played with Bo Didley, Blues legend Johnny Johnson, George Clinton, and EFX.

“The ensemble mesmerized the audience and critics alike with its adept blend of jazzy, African, and classical music.”
-Portland Express, Portland

“Fascinating, complex music”
-NRC Handelsbad, Amsterdam

“The musicians set the first measure in a symphony of rhythm and drive that, from then on, did not pause.”
-De Typhoon, Amsterdam

“American/Gambian band Mamma Tongue tore up the asphalt on St. Catherine’s, July 3rd at the Montreal Jazz Festival”
-The Gazette Montreal

“(The performance) was a great success, and the music was a fine fusion of jazz and African…beautiful original music…The audience loved the performance…the musicians are first rate, and (John McDowell’s) work on keyboards is so good that I wish we could do a concert focusing just on it.”
-Lincoln Center Out-of Doors

“A precisely balanced bridge of sound between African and American music…penetrating”
-People and Melody, Brussels