Babacar Biaye is a third generation djembe drummer from Senegal, West Africa (who now resides in Santa Cruz). For ten years Babacar played bass, doungdoung, in the group Africa Djembe Junior on his home island Goree- a 20 minute ferry ride off the coast from the capital of Dakar. Goree island has a richly horrific history, as it was from here slaves were shipped to the new world. Its history and infamous slave house museum with the “door of no return” brings thousands of tourists daily to the tiny island.Africa Djembe Junior was the band to perform for and teach the visitors of the island. They have also performed for many big names from around the world, including presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as well as given groups from around the world workshops and lessons in the traditional rhythms.
Having new inspiration, and a desire to learn/do more, Babacar taught himself to paint. He paints in a traditional West African style using acrylic paint, most commonly on cotton canvas. Though in the true African way he uses whatever may be available and therefore has many cardboard and wooden “canvases.” The paintings are vibrant with color and life. The colors he uses, he mixes himself using only the primary colors. Patchwork is used with traditional African material often times to portray African figures, masks and Africa itself. He often times includes several African symbols and motifs within, with themes speaking of the suffering in Africa and the call for Freedom and Unity.