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Teaching Youth the Djembe by PeacefulWarrior on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:13 am
I recently started sharing the little I know about playing Djembe with youth’s ages 8 to 11. It is challenging to hold their attention but so rewarding when I see the youngsters 'get it'. I am motivated to share with the youth because to me the future of maintaining the integrity of the traditional West African rhythms is in found in the hearts, minds and spirits of youth inclined to view West African rhythms as important. Trouble is even for the ones that demonstrate a strong connection with the rhythm they must divide their attention with the computers, cell phones and I-pods. I am introducing this topic because I would like to hear stories of teachers of the rhythms, to especially the youth. What are your experiences your triumphs and techniques used to effectively reach the youth?

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a month into it.. by boumalicious on Tue May 10, 2011 12:21 am
The trick seems to be to ask the universe :) the calls are starting to come, and I'm holding fast to taking risks and saying no to what doesn't stir me..anyone with advice or suggestions, please feel free! That skin that I was putting back in is fitting pretty well so far..

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Mini-Guinea San Diego, May 2010, day 7 by michi on Wed May 05, 2010 10:51 pm
Day 7 (Tuesday) of the camp.

The intermediate group went over Deniya again and then started a new rhythm (6/8) called Sumalo. This rhythm was composed by Mamady and dates back to 1964. It was part of Ballet Djoliba's first repertoire, created on Kassa Island off the coast of Conakry. The ballet performance was called "The Mother". There was a king called Sumalo who was killed in a war. The king's son went to his mother and said "Give me my father's sword so I can go to the war and avenge his death." The son goes to fight in the war and gets killed as well. The performance piece was quite patriotic, reflecting the recent revolutionary spirit of the time. The woman who played the mother is called Fatadabo and now works in Mamady's household in Conakry.

Another interesting snippet about Ballet Djoliba... Of the 500 people who were originally selected from the regional competitions and moved to Kassa Island, 45 were selected to form what eventually became Ballet Djoliba....

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Red Tweneboa Djembe Review by michi on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:53 am
Way back in March 2009, we had a discussion on Ghanaian djembes. This was followed in August 2010 by a similar discussion.

The upshot of these threads is that a number of experienced drum makers and players expressed doubt about the quality of Ghanaian djembes, the majority of which are made of a wood called Tweneboa. That wood is very pale (almost white) in color, has a spongy texture and low weight, and is very soft (soft enough to make a dent with a finger nail). In my opinion, (white) Tweneboa is utterly unsuitable for djembes. All the Tweneboa djembes I ever dealt with sound anaemic, lack overtones, and don't achieve proper volume. I would prefer an...

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Epizo's camp 2011 by michi on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:18 am
I attended last week's camp with Epizo Bangoura at Bent's Basin.

This was the first (and probably only) time the camp was held there. Normally, it happens at the Bundagen eco community near Coffs Harbour, but that venue wasn't available this year. Bent's Basin is a state conservation area with a large park, camp sites, and an education centre (basically a large hall) where we did our drumming and dancing.

Because Bent's Basin is twelve hour's drive from Brisbane, I wasn't planning to attend—too far to drive and, because of the camping-only accommodation, pretty much impossible to do by flying. Fortunately, Matt, a drumming mate of mine, rang a few days before the camp and offered to pick me up from Sydney airport and let me sleep in his van, so I decided to attend on short notice.

The camp ran from Monday to Thursday. Only four days this time instead of the usual seven, mostly due to the change of venue. (Quite a number of people had already bought tickets to the Bellingen Carnival, w...

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