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Dylan Basset's Bio

Dylan Bassett

Director of the African Drum Ensemble


Dylan Bassett has been the director of the African Drum Ensemble at KU since it was created in 2007 through the Kansas African Studies Center. Dylan is a composer, percussionist, and teacher. He holds a BA in Music and an MA in Global and International Studies. His 20 years of experience teaching include work with:

  • The Missouri Fine Arts Academy
  • Drury University
  • Webster University
  • Missouri State University
  • The Missouri Arts Council
  • The Americana Music Academy
  • The University of Kansas

Dylan teaches private lessons in:

  • drum set
  • snare drum
  • keyboards
  • congas
  • djembe
  • orchestral and marching percussion
  • traditional African, Cuban, and Brazilian drumming styles

Dylan has studied West African percussion in Ghana, Senegal, and the U.S. with:

  • Mamady Keita (Guinea)
  • Foude Bangoura (Guinea)
  • Mohamed DeCosta (Sierra Leone)
  • Mohamed Camara (Guinea)
  • Mustapha Tettey Addy (Ghana)
  • Moses Otoo (Ghana)
  • Massala Mbaye (Senegal)
  • Petit Diop (Senegal)
  • Assame Diouck (Senegal)
  • Greg Ince (U.S.)
  • Ray Castrey (U.S.)

Dylan specializes in:

  • djembe
  • dunun
  • odonno
  • tama
  • sabar
  • kpanlogo
  • kalangu
  • drumset

He has performed in numerous jazz, rock, African, blues, and fusion bands throughout the U.S., Senegal, and Ghana. Currently Dylan performs with the afro-jazz-funk band SUNU and with the jazz band Bemsha Swing.


Expert instruction in Arabic, Kiswahili, and Wolof at the beginning and intermediate levels will be offered over eight weeks in June-July 2018.

Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships

The Kansas African Studies Center has received $140,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch public discussions, community programming, and the creation of educational resources in local communities to discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding recent demographic changes in the region. Visit to learn more. 

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