Ibrahim Aminou experienced childhood in a traditional village, Dineye, in the Republic of Niger.  Located toward the center of the continent in West Africa, the region has served as an important crossroads providing a mixing place for many different ethnic groups.

As an infant, strapped to the back of his mom while she was pounding yam, Ibrahim was immersed in rhythm and song.

 At 3 years of age he began receiving musical instruction. At that age children are taught simple percussion parts and are actively involved in naming and wedding ceremonies. By the age of 5 children help to build instruments made from wood and animal skins. And, by the age of 7 they are able build their own instrument under the guidance of their teachers. This develops artistic sense as well a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Ibrahim’s family relocated to Niamey, the capitol of Niger and at the age of 12 he joined the Goumbe Drum Ensemble of Niger. After years of performances throughout West Africa, he became the director of the group and continued to perform and organize concerts for years.  He went on to study ethnology, musicology and traditional music education and therapy at the Centre de Formation et de Promotion Musicale in Niamey and received a degree in Teaching of African Arts and Music.

His life path led him to study entertainment and hotel management in Togo, France and Switzerland. He was instrumental in the founding of Niger’s first FM radio station and had a popular DJ radio show.  He continued to be active in musical performance and recording. In 1999 he moved to the United States, first New York and then Michigan.

In Michigan he continued to perform and began teaching in schools, summer camp and after school programs including the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed summer camp. He was also an instructor in after school programs sponsored by “Community Records” - a social mission organization that builds community by bringing together diverse populations through music and music education.

Now in Austin, Texas, Ibrahim continues to bring the richness of African traditions to the community. He regularly teaches classes at UT Informal Classes, as well as workshops and performances around the city. His band Zoumountchi performs regularly at Africa Night at Sahara Lounge.

Ibrahim Aminou