Sekou "Tepaka Lunda" Conde
Sekou Tepaka Lunda Conde, respected worldwide as a performer, educator, historian, folklorist and djembe player. Sekou has had a life full of cultural learning, training in the art of traditional West African music and entrepreneur. He’s dedicated his life to the progression and preservation of African culture, education and folklore.
Throughout his life, he has learned very valuable lessons from the greats of his homeland Africa and America. When he started with Muntu Dance Theatre in 1978, he received intense training in the art of West African drumming and ethics. His West African drumming education placed him at the feet of many masters, including Mamady Keïta, Famoudou Konaté, Abdoul Doumbia, and Laurent Camara.
Early in his career, he produced original recordings of classical arrangements drawn from his West African roots and became an integral part of Memphis’s Nubian Dance Company and New Orleans’s Zulu Connection. During his time in the South, Conde reached out to those in search of their cultural identity, yearning to learn about Africa through the rich legacy of music, song and dance: He co-founded Memphis’s Bamana African Drum and Dance Ensemble and established the Djembekan School of Percussion.
In 2006, Conde toured with Legends of West Africa, as well as West Africa's world-renowned all-women’s drum and dance company NIMBAYA!, formerly known as Les Amazones Women Master Drummers.
In 2012 Sekou became a resource coordinator for Tanner Elementary school where his dedication to the arts and education served the community with programs that enriched the education and artistic vitality of hundreds of children. Conde launched the “Kafolike School of Percussion” in 2013 to educate children and adults in the culture, history, folklore and ethics of West African music. In 2015 Sekou became Program manager for Muntu's ACE (Arts for Community Empowerment) in-school and after school programming. His reach to over 3000 children a year created a vast educational component that to this day still impacts the lives of the Chicago land community at large. While becoming a beacon for Chicago’s south side and surrounding areas, Sekou became Muntu Dance Theatre’s Executive Director in 2017.
As a budding entrepreneur, Conde has also made his presence known in the main stream arts by his appearance in the movie “South Side With You” which focused on Barack and Michelle Obama’s meeting and three appearances on Fox’s “Empire”
The intrinsic discipline and vast knowledge Conde has gained have taken his abilities to new heights, increasing his cultural devotion to community and traditional African values and prosperity. Conde continues to teach within Muntu Dance Theatre enriching the skills and knowledge base of the organization, while performing lectures around the world about the importance of the arts, and traditional African culture.