Monday, June 19, 2006
Here is more about Kufaru, in an obit written by Tracy of Kabuki Hats in New Orleans:
Sorry to announce the death of Kufaru Mouton, master
percussionist, of a heart attack in his home the
second week of June, 2006.
Born in NYC, he arrived in New Orleans over 25 years
ago on his way to Brazil (the country) and decided to
stay here, making his home base around Cafe Brasil on
Frenchmen Street, where, with Ralph Gibson, he played
the first gig at that venue many years ago. He
embodied the spirit of the Frenchmen Street music
scene, where he could be found playing or sitting in
on any given night of the week.
He studied with the masters Babatunji Olatunji and
Chief Bey in the 60's in NYC, when he was initianted
and was given the Santaria name of Kufaru, which means
Guardian. Kufaru was indeed the guardian of the craft
of the Conga drums, and spent years handing down the
tradition when he taught N.O. schoolkids in programs
like Young Audiences, and most recently the school
program run by The House of Blues International.
Back in NYC, Kufaru played briefly with The New York
Jets, and studied and taught African Dance, which he
continued here in New Orleans with the collective
Kufaru played and recorded with some of the best, and
his talent was in high demand. He was recorded on the
Neville Brothers "Mama Africa" and played with Luther
Gray and Kenyatta Simon of Percussion Incorporated.
Other music collaborators include Fredy Omar, Andy
Wolf, Robert Wagner, Ralph Gibson.....and too many to
list here. He will be missed by countless musicians
and music lovers who were lucky enough to experience
the magnificent stage presence he had, the powerful
talent and his love of people.
Kufaru could be found drumming till sunrise each Mardi
Gras, adding to the Carnival spirit that evolved on
Frenchmen Street each year outside of Cafe Brasil. His
music touched many hearts,and he played with true
dedication and joi de vivre.
A second line parade will be held on Monday, June 26th
at 6pm. at the corners of Dauphine and Piety Streets
in the Bywater, at the new coffeeshop owned by fellow
musician Andy J.Forest.. The Storyville Stompers will
lead the parade Cafe Brasil at the crossroade of
Frenchmen and Charters.
Please send written rememberances of Kufaru to
firstname.lastname@example.org, to be posted on an upcoming
website dedicated to the life and work of Kufaru
As Kufaru would say.....Peace.
Ashe, and thanks, Tracy