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3/14 Sarah Lee's Class by gr3vans on Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:20 am
One World Dance and Drum with Sarah Lee

Warm up Kassa
Dance Sinte

I think I played sangban the whole night. not sure. that's what happens when you forget to take notes.

:)

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Why the djembe matters to me (Part 2) by michi on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:27 am
In 2003, I attended a men's gathering where a group of men congregated in the Australian bush for a few days to talk about men's issues. There were various personal development workshops, ceremonies, yoga, singing, sports, dancing, meditation—you name it. One thing that is popular at such gatherings is drumming and, at this particular event, a group of Australians were (skilfully) playing Mandingue rhythms with a full dundun and djembe ensemble. I remember listening and being absolutely fascinated by the richness of the music, and by its depth and complexity. It was like no other music I'd ever heard before. Whenever there was drumming, I was there to listen and feel the music.

At the gathering, the musicians passed around flyers for an African concert that was taking place a few weeks later, and I decided to go along. As it turned out, Epizo Bangoura performed with the ensemble there, and I got to hear a master djembefola for the first time. This was the most jaw-dropping musical experience o...

[ Continued ]

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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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Drumming under water, part 2 by michi on Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:12 pm
The waters in Brisbane have mostly receded, but there are still many places that are inaccessible. I went to help friends of mine yesterday in one of the flood-affected areas. They were the lucky ones, living in a high-set house. They had three feet of water under the house and over their entire block. Despite the relatively mild flooding they experienced, the devastation is incredible. Everything is caked with mud, up to a foot deep in places. The smell is overwhelming: not only mud and rotting plant material, but sewage that got pushed out of drains and toilets during the flood. I saw many houses that were far worse off in the same area, some of them inundated to the roof line. People living in these houses have lost absolutely everything.

Traffic is chaotic with many roads closed. Those roads that are passable are covered in mud up to a foot deep. Driving along a flooded road, there are endless piles of destroyed household goods, furniture, clothes, books, and appliances lined up along...

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2 Comments Viewed 88616 times
A Year in the Life of a Djembe Addict by EvanP on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:50 pm
I'm Evan and I'm a djembe addict.

It's been a little over a year since I not only learned what a djembe is, but how to spell it, how to play it (sometimes/mostly), at least names/locations of 25% of the countries in Africa, and about 2% of their culture.

In January I had the opportunity to attend a Mamady Keita workshop. Although I didn't meet the minimum requirement of 1 year of experience, my teacher requested an exception for me and Ali/Mamady approved. All of the superlatives are trite and overused, but it blew my mind. I learned so much, not just about drumming and rhythms, but about pedagogy. Mamady is the best teacher of anything I've ever had. He was able, in a class of 40-50 people, to connect individually with each of us, offering encouragement and pushing to our limits (but not beyond). An added bonus was an amazing party after the second class at a local Cuban musician's house for a rumba. The energy and music was fantastic, and it was great seeing Mamady play conga...

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