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Donald Dogbo is a visionary drummer, singer and composer from Ivory Coast who was born into a family of drummer-composers dating back to his great grandfather. At an early age, Donald joined Ivory Coast bands in which he could develop his talent and begin touring. In 2002, Dogbo trained intensively at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culturelle in Abidjan. Then, after moving to Senegal in 2004, Donald worked with several major African artists, including Mao Otayek (former conductor for Alpha Blondy and guitarist for Stevie Wonder). In 2014, Dogbo immigrated to Montreal and began performing and recording with such Quebec-based world music talents as Djely Tapa, Wesli and Élage Diouf.
In March 2020, Donald conceived the musical project Coubli, whose name means “adventurer” in his native language Bété. Through this project, he strives to further the marriage between jazz and the traditional rhythms of Central and West Africa, such as the akpongbô and the gbégbé (Ivory Coast), the bikutsi (Cameroon), and the mbalax (Senegal). As the catalyst for this marriage, Dogbo draws on his various musical and cultural encounters in Africa prior to his arrival in Quebec.
Coubli now has a much-lauded album under its name. Released last October, it features a host of notable collaborators, including Simon Denizart on piano and André Désilets on sax, who join Donald in contributing to his trademark dense and thrilling amalgam of styles.