Pape Demba "Paco" Samb


Master Hand Drummer from Senegal

Paco photo

Pape Demba "Paco" Samb comes from a family that have been griots in his native Senegal for hundreds of years. As a griot, Paco is one of the keepers of the ancestral history, stories, and music of his Wolof peoples. As a master hand drummer, Paco not only plays the instruments but he and his brothers build several types of drums as well. He performs both contemporary and traditional Senegalese music, as well as reggae, rap, funk, jazz, pop and a variety of other styles. Paco heads his own drum ensemble called Super Ngewel and released his first album in 2014.

An internationally acclaimed artist, Paco has performed with many major musicians based in Senegal and the Gambia including Senemaio, Ballet Gorgoru, Dormu Africa, Ballet Ngangan, African Ballet, Katchikaly, Youssou N'Dour Cultural Group, Marie Samuel N'Diaye Group, Batin Band, Laba Sosseh, Moussa Ngom, and Bala Sidibé.

Paco arrived in the U.S. in November 2013 on tour with a singer from the Gambia. Since making his home in the U.S., he has performed regularly as part of the local and national music scene, including appearances with the Fatoumata Diawara, Richard Raw, Kombu Kombo, the Ballbuckers, Best Kept Soul, Tony Vacca, the Dinkendo Family Band, the Rege-Walker World Jazz Ensemble, and Griots Umoja. He tours regularly with Universal African Drum and Dance Ensemble and was hired by Kulu Mele in 2015 to produce music to accompany two works the group commissioned from noted choreographer, Marie Basse.

Paco has extensive experience as an instructor. He is currently adjunct faculty at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, and has taught numerous workshops around the U.S., including the StarArts workshop in Star Island, New Hampshire and children's bucket drumming for Mother African Union Church in Delaware. See the recent article on him in the Carroll County Times from Westminster, MD. Paco also teaches private group and individual classes. For more information, click on the link for lessons.

Paco also sells a limited number of professional quality drums and repairs African drums. Click on the link for drum sales and repair for further information.

He is also listed on the Artists Roster for Delaware Division of the Arts.