Ahmad Compaoré

Drummer, percussionist and composer Ahmad Compaoré was revealed in 1991 by Fred Frith’s rock opera “Helter Skelter”. Since then he has collaborated with such musicians as Fred Frith, Marc Ribot, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Otomo Yoshihide, Rhys Chatham, Barre Phillips and countless musicians from varying stylistic backgrounds. The “Ahmad Compaoré Quintet” offers an unique repertoire mixing jazz, soul, world, rock and electronic music, continuing Ahmad’s journey on the road of rhythms, those of a musician without borders. 

Here's a little more information about Ahmad Compaoré:

Drummer, composer and rare improviser, Ahmad Compaoré is a musician of freedom. With feet, fists and hands, he hits, strikes, whips and strokes the brass of his cymbals and the skin of his drums. Of Egyptian and Burkinabé origins, Ahmad has developed a career just like his personal history, based upon cultural encounters with musicians who have helped him build up an extraordinary destiny for himself.

Discovered at the age of 17 by Comorian guitarist Ali Afandi, he is revealed in 1991 by Fred Frith's rock opera "Helter Skelter". After a two-year drum course at the Centre Musical & Créatif de Nancy (M.A.I.) from which he majored highly commended in 1995, he took part in the residencies of percussionist Makoto Yabuki and balafonist Mahama Konatéin Marseilles. With a constant craving for exploration and discovery, he joined a groove band from Senegal (1996) and later on the band of Reunion Island singer and composer Ti Fock (1998). He recorded a first album in 2000 with his band Oriental Fusion (Hakim Hamadouche and Edmond Hosdikian) and he has collaborated with such musicians as Fred FrithMarc RibotJamaaladeen TacumaBarre PhillipsCamel ZekriOtomo Yoshihide and Louis Sclavis. But this wealth of encounters is not limited to mere musical creation: in 2002, he met Egyptian choreographer and dancer Karima Mansour who chose him as her partner for the duet "Temporament" and in 2003 he participated in the creation of "La Mer Intérieure, Voix-Algérie", a musical play by Frédérique Wolf-Michaux. Winner of the "Villa Médicis Hors les Murs" programme (AFAA) in 2005, he stayed in India to be initiated into the art of tabla by master Sree Debasish Dass. The year 2007 is marked by the formation of the Ahmad Compaoré Quintet proposing an original repertoire mixing unbridled jazz, afrobeat and electronic music, not forgetting the essential Musique Rebelle jam sessions which always hold in store their share of surprise guests. Recipient of the Culturesfrance "Hors les Murs" award in 2008, he lived in Tokyo to carry out a creation project (computer-aided music) with various Japanese artists.

Free from boundaries, Ahmad Compaoré equally enjoys the most extreme experiences in alternative and improvised music, jazz and fusion. He also teaches drums and contemporary percussion instruments through his association La Boîte à Musique located at the Friche la Belle de Mai in Marseilles. While giving concerts and master classes, he continues his journey on the road of rhythms, those of a musician without borders...

Here's a fantastic clip of Ahmad Compaoré performing live in Marseille in 2008:

You can keep up-to-date with all works and performances by Ahmad Compaoré on his site here:


You can stream, share and buy 'Cordophony' by Philippe Petit & Friends here: