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3/12 practice group by gr3vans on Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:13 am
Sangban/ Kenkeni - me
djembe/ Sangban/ Kenkeni - Karim

Warm up w/ Balakulanya (sangban)
Rest of practice was spent working on Kawa. I've had some trouble with the Sg part and have been working at it. while Karim went through the dance with the dancers I spoke the part aloud. Once the dancers were ready for music I played Kenkeni and Karim played sangban and dununba.

at the very end of the session I played kenkeni part for dununba while dancers stepped to the down beats.

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Mini-Guinea Singapore, Sep 2010, Day 1-4 by michi on Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:51 am
A quick update on the Singapore camp...

I got there on the morning of the first session and met Mamady outside the venue. He looked a lot more lively and happy than he did last time I saw him at the end of April. He's smiling a lot and the spring is back in his step. Good to see!

About 48 people are attending the workshop. Not all of them will be there for the entire time--some people are leaving early, others are arriving late. So far, numbers seem to be stable in the high fourties.

Day 1

Mamady did the usual thing of spending the first day with everyone together, to sort people into intermediate and advanced groups. He did four rhythms in the first two sessions: Liberte (4/4), Djansa, Garangedon, and Saranken. Saranken is one of Mamady's compositions. "Saran" is the name of a woman, and "ken" means "beautiful". Mamady explained that he wrote the rhythm in homage to everything that is beautiful in women. Not the beauty on the outside but, as Mamady put...

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Seeking a teacher around the bay area by Arrows on Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:44 am
making a short visit to santa cruz at the end of march, seeking a good Djembe/Dounou class or teacher to connect with while I am there any suggestions????

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Drumming under water by michi on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:32 am
Well, here I am in Queensland (the Sunshine State), and three quarters of the state have been declared a disaster area. The recent floods are the worst natural disaster in Australia's history (in extent, not in terms of loss of life fortunately).

Queensland is a large state. To give you an idea how large, take Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. All together, they are not quite as large as Queensland. You need to add Massachusetts and Connecticut to make up the difference. Or, if you want to put it differently, Queensland is has almost exactly 20% of the land area of the entire United States. Three quarters of that are flooded or severely affected by flood.

Queensland has experienced very serious losses of crops and livestock. Infrastructure is seriously damaged everywhere. Roads, bridges, water supply, electricity, communications, etc. It is difficult to ensure supply of essential goods to many areas that are cut off by the floods. Supermarkets are low or empty...

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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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