Gnenemon Solo Soro

West African Balafon

Master balafon musician Gnenemon Solo Soro. Photo courtesy the artist.

Gnenemon Solo Soro, of Inglewood in Los Angeles County, is a master percussionist in West African drumming. Born in Cote ‘D’ Ivoro (Ivory Coast), Gnenemon first learned to play the balafon, a gourd-resonated xylophone, in the Senufo tradition, from his father, Soro Ibrahima, who learned it also his father. Gnenemon started learning the Balafon as early as the age of three, followed by the djembe drum at six. By the age of twelve he was asked to join Ballet Djolem, the national dance company of the Ivory Coast. Today, Gnenemon teaches balafon, djembe and djunjun percussion in Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina rhythms, and drums for West African dance classes in and around Southern California.

Apprenticeship Program


West African Balafon
with apprentice
Sinaa Greene

Master balafon musician Gnenemon Solo Soro and 2020 apprentice Sinaa Greene. Photo courtesy the artists.

In 2020, Sinaa Greene of Long Beach will apprentice under the mentorship of Gnenemon Solo Soro in West African Balafon (a gourd-resonated xylophone) in the Senufo tradition of the Ivory Coast. The instrument is used for healing through songs, and is customarily played to heal people struggling from sickness or sadness in their life. In addition to furthering Sinaa’s technique and repertoire, Gnenemon will guide her in learning how to understand the cultural meaning of certain rhythms, and when they should be played.





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