Magatte Sow, or as many people know him Magatte Fall, is a two-time Grammy Award winning percussionist that represents the best of both worlds. Coming from a long line of musicians and griots, Magatte was raised as an African with a strong connection to his culture in Los Angeles, CA; and it is these two dynamics that has created the vibrant percussionist/artist that he is today. At a very early age, Magatte Sow has been around West African music and dance and was exposed to innumerable artists from around the world that influenced him greatly. So it is no surprise that Magatte’s first performance experience began at the youthful age of 2 years old for his parent’s West African Drum and Dance Company. During this time Magatte knew that he wanted to be a percussionist, and studied intently on djembe, sabar, and tama. His djembe teachers includes his father Malik Sow and Kissima Diabate. For sabar, he’s studied with Omar Mboup, Aziz Faye, and Chiekh Tirou Mbaye; and Tama he’s studied with the late great Ndongo Mbaye. As he learned, he continued to perform with different artists in Los Angeles; and served his own community by drumming for many dance classes that he continues to do until this day.
As he got older, the demand for his budding talents got greater. He was casted in the movie “Amistad” and has recorded on albums for Ashley Maher, Angelique Kidjo, Rob Thomas, and many other artists. He has performed on many televised award shows as a percussionist, including the Nobel Peace Prize Awards; and has performed with artists from many different styles of music like Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, The Very Best, Ashley Maher, Andre Manga, Munyungo Jackson, Leon Mobley, Youssou N’Dour, Baba Maal, and Salif Keita, John Legend, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Dianne Reeves, and Akon.
Magatte Sow has toured with the living-legend Debbie Allen as not just a percussionist, but as a cast member of her musical “Oman Oman”, and for the past 4 years, has been the percussionist for the world-renowned singer Angelique Kidjo. He has played at many different festivals and historic venues both nationally and internationally, including the Blues Festival, Womad Festival, Festival Modial des Art Negres, Newport Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall; and he is regularly brought to numerous cities in the U.S. to attend drum and dance festivals. Throughout all of his accomplishments, Magatte never lost the connection to his family and culture in Senegal.In Los Angeles, he is a member of his father’s group Fara Toro, but in Senegal Magatte is a member of Generation Percu and Kondiof; both groups including both his family and friends there. He continues to go back to Senegal to learn and to restore keeping that connection alive through music. In Los Angeles, he now assists his father in teaching djembe and sabar through weekly classes to the community, and through school demonstrations within Los Angeles County by way of The Los Angeles Music Center.
Magatte Sow is an amazing artist, percussionist, teacher, and performer that continues to excite everyone every time he touches a drum. Though he has experienced so much at such a young age, Magatte Sow’s future is very bright; and he will continue to be a trailblazer in every style of music that he approaches.