Since 2003, the Drumroots performance group, Tanante, has performed to diverse audiences throughout the UK and beyond. Trained by master drummers in West Africa and the UK, Tanante regularly perform with djembefolas (drumming masters) Iya Sako (Guinea) and Sidiki Dembele (Ivory coast), high-energy dancers, and appear with other guest African musicians playing flutes, koras (harps) and balafons (xylophones).

Performing djembe and dundun drums, melodious instrument and dance; Tanante's high energy performances are incredibly exciting and invite dance and audience participation. Through their energy, abilities and spectacular showmanship Tanante have proved to be incredibly popular with delighted audiences at concerts, weddings and festivals.

For over a decade now Tanante members have trained endlessly with African Masters out in West Africa and here in the UK. The result is Tanate have some very accomplished musicians who we welcome to WMW Festival to teach balafon, djembe and dununs. We expect great content.

Jamie Riley (Djembe)

Jamie is an accomplished performer who has been playing West African percussion since 2001. During this time he has completed numerous intensive study trips with drumming masters in Guinea, Senegal and The Gambia. He is the one of the lead soloists in Tanante and he regularly plays djembe solo at West African dance classes for artists such as Louis-Pierre Yonsian and Jokeh Sillah.

He has a passion for teaching and runs numerous drumming projects in a variety of settings including schools, centres for people with special educational needs and the Drumroots community band. His positive and energetic style inspires people from all ages and backgrounds, from pre-school children to professional musicians.

John Tullo (Dununs)

John first studied djembe in New Zealand with the group 'Tamani' and, upon his return to the UK, joined Tanante at the band’s formation in 2003. He has completed many periods of study in West Africa, but it was on his second study trip to the village of Sangbaralla in Guinea that his passion for the dununs began. Here, he met and studied with the djembefola, Namory Keita.

Despite being a powerful and dynamic dunun player, John has a gentle teaching style and is committed to sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise with others.

Andy Garvey (Balafon)

After graduating from Salford University with a BA in Popular Music and Recording, Andy travelled to Senegal to develop his djembe technique. It was here that he fell in love with the balafon. In 2016, he was awarded a Finzy scholarship to study in France with world renowned balafon master, Sory Diabate. He continues to travel to West Africa on a regular basis, to develop his expertise. He currently plays balafon in Tanante and the newly formed ‘Afro-fusion’ group, Dimbaya.

As well as being a talented balafon player, Andy is a versatile musician and a natural performer who also plays the guitar, piano and other percussion. A gifted singer with an extensive repertoire of West African songs, he often leads the singing in workshops and Tanante performances.

The group will be performing on our main stage Saturday along with djembefola Iya Sako and dancers Louis-Pierre Yonsian and Jokeh Sillah.


Year Contributions
2019 Performance and Djembe, Balafon & Dunun classes