Don Moye

" Famoudou " Don Moye (* May 23, 1946 in Rochester, New York) is an American drummer, singer and composer of the Creative Jazz, which was particularly well known for his roles in " Art Ensemble of Chicago ".

Life and work

Don Moye played as a teenager in local drum formations, sang in the church choir and learned violin. In a jazz club he heard Kenny Burrell and Jimmy McGriff. Finally, he studied percussion at Wayne State University in Detroit ( Michigan). Moye played in this time also with the African Cultural Ensemble, which he came up with African music from Ghana into contact and the band Detroit Free Jazz, with which he undertook in 1968 a European tour. He remained in Paris, where he played with Steve Lacy, Sonny Sharrock, Dave Burrell, Pharoah Sanders and undertook journeys with John Tchicai to North Africa.

The stage name Famoudou Don Moye he chose as a tribute to the Guinean drummer Famoudou Konate.

1969 was the " Art Ensemble of Chicago " (without drummer Philip Wilson) as a quartet of Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman and Malachi Favors Maghostut on a European tour. Moye played at this time in Paris at the American Center for Students and Artists, where musicians such as Art Taylor and Johnny Griffin jazz workshops were holding. Roscoe Mitchell asked Moye there if he wanted to join the Art Ensemble. He was a member and returned to the group in the early 1970s back to the U.S..

In addition to the many years of work there Don Moye had their own projects again and again; he worked with the Black Artists Group in St. Louis ( Missouri), played in a duo with drummer Steve McCall and took part in the Wildflowers Loft Sessions ( 1976). The mid-1980s he became a member of the band The Leaders, who also Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Don Cherry, Cecil McBee and Kirk Lightsey belonged except the Art Ensemble colleagues Bowie. Moye recorded numerous albums under his own name and played with his own formations, such as the Joseph Jarman / Don Moye Famoudou Magic Triangle band and The Sun Percussion Summit ( with Enoch Williamson ), in which he explored the traditions of African-American music.

Don Moye worked on many recordings, as Randy Weston, Dave Burrell, Fontella Bass, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Chico Freeman, Craig Harris and The Leaders.

In his feature Moye covers all achievements American and African Perkussionistik together.


  • Downbeat International Critics Poll Winner - 1977, 1978, 1982
  • New York Jazz Poll - 1979, 1980
  • National Endowment for the Arts Grant - 1974, 1981


Custom Formations

As a sideman

  • Lester Bowie: Mirage ( RCA, 1974-82 ), Serious Fun (DIW, 1984), The Organizer ( DIW, 1991)
  • Hamiet Bluiett: In / possible To Keep (India Navigation, 1977), Resolution (Black saint, 1977)
  • Kenny Clarke: Pieces Of Time ( Soul Note, 1983)
  • Chico Freeman: Spirit Sensitive ( India Nav, 1978), No Time Left ( Black saint, 1979)
  • The Leaders: Mudfoot ( Black Hawk, 1986), Out Here Like This ( Black Saint, 1986)
  • Kirk Lightsey: Goodbye Mr. Evans ( Evidence, 1994)
  • Roscoe Mitchell Roscoe Mitchell ( Chief, 1978)