Lanyi West African Ensemble

Our Lanyi West African Ensemble was established in 2013 to give students the opportunity to study a range of instrumental, vocal and dance traditions.

“Lanyi” means “gathering” in Susu, a language spoken in Guinea, West Africa, and captures the communal bonding generated through musical participation.

The ensemble approaches repertoire from a range of West African Mande cultures. Those new to the music will receive instruction in basic instrumental and dance techniques while more experienced group members will progress to more advanced techniques, polyrhythmic patterns, and soloing skills. Through learning rhythms and dances common in West African social life and stage performance, students will develop new aural, observation and memorization capabilities. Students learn songs in several languages and study a range of instruments including drums (djembe, dundun, bugarabu, krin), rattles and bells and a Guinean xylophone (bala).

Participation in Lanyi requires regular listening to recordings and guided practice. Lanyi gives at least one public performance a year and has previously performed in the Wales Millennium Centre, Chapter Arts Centre, and The School of Music Concert Hall. Expect drumming, dancing, singing, and general high spirits!

Musical Director: Landing Mané

Landing Mané
Landing Mané.

Since arriving in the UK in 1998, Landing Mané has become one of the nation’s leaders of Senegalese instrumental music and dance. Learning from the age of four, he is also versed in traditions from Guinea, Mali, The Ivory Coast and has studied and received formal training in Afro jazz and classical ballet at the National Conservatory of Dakar in Senegal. For five years he was Artistic Director and Choreographer of Bakalama of Thionck-Essyl in Dakar, an internationally renowned group founded by his father. In the UK Landing leads his own performing and educational company, Jamo Jamo Arts.

Landing is also an experienced instrumental and dance teacher and works with absolute beginners in schools, universities and festivals such as WOMAD through to choreographing advanced African performers. In 2005 he was a mentor and choreographer for the winner and runner-up of the BBC production of Strictly African Dance, filmed in South Africa.