It is said that, “When a Griot dies it is like an entire library is burning to the ground.”  

 Griot have been known to speak for hours, even days at times, drawing upon a practiced and memorized history that they have passed down for centuries from one generation to the next. 

Serving their communities as vast repositories of history, epics, proverbs, genealogies, and music, the Griot have long been an integral and magical part of West African society.

The transportation of their tradition, beats and rythms by force through their enslavement in the Americas, has also contributed greatly to many forms of early African-American music.  

Traditionally employed in West Africa as the most intimate aids to royal families, no king was complete without a Griot through whom he would communicate. Most villages also had their own Griot, and over time they have been responsible for telling tales of births, deaths, marriages, battles, hunts, affairs, and hundreds of other folktales through their music and oration.

Griot are deeply revered for their connection to social, spiritual, and political power through the influence of their speech and music. The broad body of knowledge necessary to become a Griot takes years of training and normally begins as young as age five. Beginning within the family and ending in an apprenticeship, at no time in the Griot’s training is there ever a departure made from the connection between the musical and verbal components of their art.

Evolving amidst industrialization, urbanization and the changing face and tastes of their communities,  Griots continue today to preserve the ‘memory’ of their culture.