Ainiké is an ensemble that fuses original arrangement, composition, and contemporary instrumentation with the polyrhythmic and highly energetic music of the Malinke people of Guinea, West Africa. Our chosen name for the band, meaning "thank you" in the Malinke language, reflects our gratitude towards a culture which has opened itself to us so generously, as several of our members have traveled frequently to various regions of Western Africa to study with contemporary masters. From this dynamic foundation, Ainiké has developed a distinct sound that combines traditional music with original composition, bridges the ancient and the modern, and fuses a variety of musical styles and genres. The polyrhythms of the Malinke people (also referred to as Mandingue, Mande, Mandinka, or Maninka) are played using djembes, which are hour-glass shaped, hand percussion drums covered with goat skin, as well as three differently sized, cylindrical drums called dununs: kenkeni (smallest), sangban (middle), and dounounba (the largest). Each of the three dununs are placed upon a stand and played horizontally. One rhythm is played on the head at the side of the drum with a stick, while the bell, resting on top of the drum, demands a different yet complementary rhythm. While maintaining respect for the traditional music of the Malinike people, Ainiké has created original compositions through both innovative arrangement, and the addition of modern instrumentation including guitar, bass, keyboard, and saxophone. Thus, celebrating a conversation between the traditional and the modern, Ainiké integrates the instruments and song of the Malinke people with jazz, funk, rock, reggae, and highlife. It is this unique fusion, reflective of the diverse musical backgrounds of it's ten members, and a shared passion for traditional music, that is at the core of our musical vision and the infectious energy of our musical expression.