When the development of a luxury condominium threatens a local mural depicting the diverse culture of the neighborhood, a community in a rapidly gentrifying city rallies to protect its history, voice, icons, and land.
Kiazi Malonga is one of the next generation’s most skilled and talented Ngoma players. With over 20 years of drum training and experience, his awesome skill and performance style has inspired many. His parents, Malonga Casquelourd and Jeannie Ishman Brown, were instrumental in establishing the presence of Congolese culture in America. A graduate of Stanford University, Kiazi was formerly lead drummer of Ballet Kizingu Youth Ensemble and currently serves as Musical Director of Fua Dia Congo. He is featured on several Congolese percussion CDs, including Massengo and Mvoula.Kiazi teaches Congolese ngoma drumming every Sunday at the Malonga Center in Oakland, CA, and is the lead drummer for many of the Congolese dance classes held there. He also teaches intensive intermediate and advanced drumming classes at the Congolese Dance & Drum Workshops.