Sarah McClain
Sarah has been dancing African traditional dance for 20 years and she plans on doing it for another 20 years!! She has strong ties to Africa and has studied under Youssouf Koumbassa and Djeneba Sato among others.

Hillary Funk Welzenbach
   
Hillary has studied West African dance, with an emphasis in Sabar dance, in Oakland, Seattle and Dakar, Senegal. She spent a year studying West African dance in Senegal as well as dance therapy.

Dorothy Morrison
Dorothy is a career music educator who has been playing djembe since 1991. She has studied in Africa and on the West Coast with djembe greats - Mamady Keita and Famadou Konate - and in Missoula with Manimou Camara. She is lead djembe for Djebe Bara


Djebe Bara is a community dance and drum group. Members of the performing group teach the dance classes. Djebe also has guest teachers who visit on occasion. Here are the bios of members of the performance group. 



Boo Curry

Laurel Ann "Boo" Curry plays doundouns, djembe, and the mbira like a devil and dances and sings like an angel ~ and here she plays hoshos!

 Djebe Bara Members

Courtney Sowa

Tamara McGinley
     Tamara has studied some form of dance her entire life from ballet to jazz. In 2008 she traveled to Guinea, West Africa, where she studyied under Youssouf Koumbassa.

​​​​Alicia Crandall
When Alicia took her first West African Dance class in 2008 she was hooked! During the winter of 2014 she traveled to Guinea, West Africa for a 3 week cultural tour studying drum and dance. Her dance teachers in Guinea included Youssouf Koumbassa, Mamadama Bangoura and Totti Sylla. Alicia plays mbira, an instrument from Zimbabwe and is a student of the djembe studying with Matthew Marsolek since 2012.


Heidi Waegele
Heidi has studied many forms of dance throughout her life, but fell in love with African dancing in her native California. She began studying Congolese dancing in 2002 and shortly after, dance from Guinea. Heidi traveled with Manimou Camara to Guinea in the winter of 2016 to study dance. She also plays a xylophone-like instrument known as the balafon, an integral part of Guinean music She loves attending camps to learn more and makes frequent visits to Seattle for classes. Heidi teaches private piano lessons from her home and is an accompanist for students at UM.

​​What is there to say about Courtney? 

She's the greatest !!

Courtney does it all . . . ..

Oumar Keita

A native of Guinea, West Africa,Oumar Keita is known for his extensive knowledge of music and history. Oumar showed an interest in traditional music and began singing at an early age. He continues to sing and write traditional music but can also rap in Malinke, Susu and French. Oumar Keita plays traditional instruments like the bolon, gnoni and N’gongoma, which accompany his singing.

Since 2009 he has been a musician in the nationally recognized Ballet Saamato of Conakry, Guinea. Primarily a dundun player, Oumar is also a dancer and djembe player.  For the past 2 years, he played with Wofa percussion in Conakry.

 Ballet Saamato gave Oumar the opportunity to share his country’s rich cultural tradition of music and dance with the children. He has traveled to small villages in Guinea and has worked with orphanages such as SOS in Conakry, integrating art into their lives.

Since moving to Missoula with his wife, he has become a member of the community dance and drum group Djebe Bara. The members of the group are grateful to have someone with such a wide variety of expertise and an easy-going attitude.  Oumar has decided to venture out of his country’s music and is now learning Gamelan in the local group Manik Harum.