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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...

[ Continued ]

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Mini-Guinea Singapore, Sep 2010, Day 10 by michi on Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:47 am
Final day of the camp, with one rehearsal at 2:00pm and then the performance at 5:00pm.

This is the hottest and most humid day I've experienced so far. By 3:00pm, the temperature was at 39C (102F), with humidity at 92%. Truly awful.

We did another run-through of the pyramid, including solos by a few people. You can listen to it in this post. After the rehearsal, we all piled into a bus that took us to the performance venue in the middle of town, a large open-air amphitheatre, large enough to hold probably around 1000 people. We deposited our drums back-stage and then had about 1.5 hours time for shopping and to grab a bite to eat.

Several groups performed prior to the pyramid (which was the final act), including a group from India, Japanese Kodo drummers, and the Lila Drum Ensemble. When we finally went on stage, temperature was still in the...

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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...

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Forokoroba - Looking for info on this rhythm by kbmountain@gmail.com on Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:35 pm
Nov 2013, in Guinea, I learned a dance to a rhythm called Forokoroba. After asking my teachers to say it repeatedly, that is how I believe it is spelled ... or at least sounds like it's spelled. I was told it is a Malinke welcoming and celebration rhythm. They likened it to a Yankadi, a happy, feel good "swingy" rhythm. I can not find any history or drum notation on it. I have found a few work shop videos of it being taught in dance classes in France. Can anyone provide me with more information on Forokoroba? Thank you.

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Adama Drame djembe for sale by johanbotha on Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:54 pm
I'm based in Johannesburg, South Africa - a friend is selling his Adama Drame djembe - with a letter from Adama authenticating it's origin. It's about 14-15" head diameter and beautifully made.

any ideas on what it's worth..

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