Mama Africa 2012 – 5 Reasons you should go drum camps and festivals

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, summer is here and for anyone in Europe that means that the Mama Africa festival 2012 is fast approaching. For Europeans it’s not too late to book flights or drive and have a summer holiday that you’ll love.

If you’re not in Europe there are a number of djembe and drumming Festivals on around the world. You should see if there’s on near you! These reasons apply to any drum camp or festival.

1) Workshops with some of the best djembe players and drummers, dancers and musicians

Dance class - Mama Africa 2010

This year the teachers going include:
ADAMA BILOROU DEMBELE
ADAMA DIARRA
ADY THIOUNE
BABA DIARRA
BABARA BANGOURA
BAKALA CAMARA
DARTAGNAN CAMARA
DIARRA KONATE
FATOMA DEMBELE
LANCEI DIOUBATE
MBAR NDIAYE
NIHAR MEHTA
PETIT ADAMA DIARRA
SEYDOU DAO
SIDIKI CAMARA
SOURAKHATA DIOUBATE
THOMAS GUEI
VALERIO PERLA

You can see a list of all artists here.

One thing I loved last time is that you have some amazing drummers playing for the dance classes with really talented dance teachers and participants. Watching the dance classes is a great way to chill and soak up the atmosphere…


Harouna Dembele Solo, Mama Africa Festival from James Farrell on Vimeo.

2) Breathtaking performances every night

There are also performances each night from some great bands like Harouna Demebele‘s Parisi and Ba Cissokho.

Wamali – “Guinea” at the Mama Africa Festival 2010 from James Farrell on Vimeo.

3) Meet great people, who love what you love

Make new friends and be inspired by the skills and enthusiasm of those around you. The best part of Mama Africa is meeting other people who share your enthusiasm about djembe, drumming and dancing.

4) Try something new
These festivals are the best time to try something different. Every want to try balafon, flute or Ngoni? There are plenty of opportunities and workshops around that you can take advantage of.

How about some Sabar dancing or drumming

5) Where better to relax and have a great holiday!

Where better to take your holidays and unwind than beautiful Tuscany in Italy?

I will definitely be going to Mama Africa again (maybe even this year if I can convince my friend to come with me). If Mama African is too far away from you, perhaps there is something similar on close to you.

What camps and festivals are you looking forward to this year?

Author: James

James loves music, especially Djembe drum music. He has been studying traditional djembe drumming since 2004. Nearly all his free time goes into developing djembefola.com.

3 thoughts on “Mama Africa 2012 – 5 Reasons you should go drum camps and festivals”

  1. Mamady Keita and Iya Sako Senegal Camp Dec – Jan 2013, also Adama Bilorou teaching balafon, plus dance and song workshops with Fatoumata (Fanta) Yayo
    http://www.drumwhisperer.co.uk/?page_id=53

    Here in the UK, this year’s camps have been an gone. I went to both … Drum Camp in Suffolk (beginning of July) and African Drum Vilage in Glenisla, Scotland (first week of August). They’ll be on next year! I used to organise African Beats Camp but as with many festivals in the UK, including the legendary Tribe of Doris, they’ve stopped due to low attendance … people just don’t have the money right now.

    I’m in Sicily when Mama Africa in on (6 – 9th Sept), but this is purely by chance and I didn’t know about it! Fly in from UK when it’s already started. Logistically / financially don’t think I can make it. Happily am going to a friend’s wedding where I’ll be drumming and singing and during the week stay will have chance to drum with those fine Italian djembe folas too!

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