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Famoudou Don Moye

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Information about Famoudou Don Moye

Profile image of Famoudou Don Moye

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Percussionist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Martinique, Guadalupe
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Damned if you do and damned if you do.

Birthplace

Born:
5/23/1946
Birth Location:
Rochester, New York

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Percussionist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Martinique, Guadalupe
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Damned if you do and damned if you do.

Birthplace

Born:
5/23/1946
Birth Location:
Rochester
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Biography

Drummer extraordinaire Famoudou Don Moye was born on May 23, 1946 in Rochester, New York. In high school, he began playing drums, congas and bongos and went on to formally study percussion at Wayne State University in Detroit.

In 1968, Moye toured Europe with the Detroit Free Jazz Band and worked briefly in Italy for RAI (Italian Radio and Television). While abroad, Moye had the opportunity to work with Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Sharrock, Randy Weston and Art Taylor and to collaborate extensively with Moroccan musicians.

Moye joined the innovative, avant-garde quintet, the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC), in 1969 and he has been a permanent member ever since. Moye and the other members of AEC draw their influence from both Africa and the Caribbean, rural as well as urban spaces, from the whole spectrum of black music. Their radically experimental performances include painted faces, costumes and exotic instruments, which all contribute to their energetic improvisations. In addition to his work with AEC, Moye has been a member of The Leaders since 1984 and has recorded with the Black Artists Group, Joseph Jarman, Don Pullen, Cecil McBee, Hamiet Bluiet, Julius Hemphill, Chico Freeman and Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy. He also leads the Sun Percussion Summit, a group dedicated to exploring the traditions of African American percussion music.

Moye’s recordings have won him the praise of critics at such esteemed publications as Rolling Stone, Down Beat, Melody Maker, The New York Times, Audio Magazineand Stereo Review. He was the winner of the Downbeat International Critics Poll in 1977, 1978 and 1982; and the New York Jazz Poll in 1979 and 1980. He received performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in both 1974 and 1981. He lives in Chicago, with his wife Gloria and their son, Bongo.

Moye was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 4, 2002.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Famoudou Don Moye interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his parents' meeting
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye remembers his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls the sounds of his childhood community, Rochester, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Famoudou Don Moye shares memories from his school life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Famoudou Don Moye describes his early artistic pursuits
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Famoudou Don Moye remembers his high school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Famoudou Don Moye recounts his experience at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Famoudou Don Moye describes his musical pursuits in Detroit, Michigan, late 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls his developing interest in percussion instruments
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the Detroit Free Jazz's European travels
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye remembers his mentor musician Randy Weston
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls his solo travels in Europe and North Africa, late 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye describes his mother's response to his early career in music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his early involvement with the Art Ensemble of Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye evaluates cities from his international travels
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye reflects on being a black American artist in Europe, late 1960s, part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye compares European cultures
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye reflects on being a black American artist in Europe, late 1960s, part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Famoudou Don Moye reflects on Europe's influence on his music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls an artist network from his international travels, late 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his introduction to Chicago musicians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his role in the Art Ensemble of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye shares thoughts on artistic exchange between cultures
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye details the Art Ensemble of Chicago's style of performance
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye describes an Art Ensemble collaboration with South African musicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the origins of his name
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye describes the Art Ensemble's creative choices
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye shares thoughts on the dynamics of musical groups
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye recalls Chicago's musical scene, early 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the politics of the musical community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the delineation of musical genres
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Famoudou Don Moye describes the efforts of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses the future of black music
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Famoudou Don Moye considers his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Famoudou Don Moye discusses his mother's response to his musical success