July 18, 2007

Founded in 2004 by Moustapha Faye and Isma Aw Sing Sing Juniors is a vehicle for the young generation of the Faye family to present the music and dance traditions of the géwël. As géwëls they are what ethnomusicologist Patricia Tang calls “Masters of the Sabar” who “are able to transform and transcend the word.” (Tang, Masters of the Sabar, 56). The members of Sing Sing Juniors make wonderful use of the sabar drum and its rhythms as they maintain and build upon the tradition they have inherited.  Having honed their skills in both social and ceremonial events the members of Sing Sing Juniors are the embodiment of the sabar drum and dance tradition and  through their infectious rhythms and gravity defying dances bring the tradition of sabar, the heartbeat of Senegal, to life.

Multiple Generations of GewelsThe Faye family descends from Biram Gueye Faye, who in the mid-nineteenth century became the first Baj Gëwél of Dakar. The Baj Gëwél is the gëwél or griot for the Lebou community, the first inhabitants of the Cap Vert peninsula. In this role they are the major gëwéls for Dakar and all of Sénégal. Vieux Sing Faye, the present Baj Gëwél of Dakar, is the great-grandson of Biram Gueye Faye; the members of Sing Sing Juniors are the grandchildren of Vieux Sing Faye.

The younger members of the Faye family show that the gëwél traditions continue to grow and evolve, serving the community in story and song.