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Why the djembe matters to me (Part 1) by michi on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:19 am
I've been thinking of writing down this story for about three years. Both for my own sake, because I think it is useful to reflect on the past, but also because I think other people might find something here that will touch them. This is a very personal account of why the djembe matters to me and why I continue to pursue Mandingue music. Mine is only one story out of thousands; the djembe has many ways to teach what people need to learn…

My name is Michi, and I live in Brisbane, Australia. I'm 50 years old now, and I've been drumming for six years—with a passion. The way I found the djembe is tied up with my upbringing and life as an adult, and with my journey from music to science and back.

Music and the performing arts were a big part of my early life. I was born and raised in Germany as the son of a professional musician. I grew up literally swimming in music and was recognised as musically gifted from an early age. I played harmonica by the time I was three, picked out simple tun...

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Mini-Guinea San Diego, April 2010, days 1 & 2 by michi on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:26 am
So, here is an update from Mamady's Mini-Guinea camp in San Diego. I'm jet-lagged as all hell, so this is going be quite brief...

Linda and I got on a plane Saturday evening, after teaching two drum classes and a dance class in the morning. Flight was uneventful. The most notable thing about it is that it takes about 20 hours door-to-door to finally get there :(

We arrived 5:30pm and got to our truly shabby and awful (but cheap) hotel near LAX by about 7:30pm. Looking for dinner, we ended up at a strip mall that appeared to be the only available option within walking distance; the kind of place with about six different food outlets, all of which have "cholesterol overdose" or "food poisoning to be expected" somewhere in the fine print. In the end, we settled on the least-dangerous looking place, a small Indian restaurant. We ended up getting one of the best Indian meals I've had in...

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Lonely Djembe by messengert69 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:09 pm
I am in Wallasey, Merseyside. I am a lonely Djembeist and really like to meet with others to learn to play properly with like minded players. I have taught myself how to reskin and rope (as first purchase was a carcase with rings) now plays to my satisfaction but could do with advice re tuning. Also purchased a Typhoon (varnished Oak mechanical tuning) minus skin and have rebuilt that one. Now I really want to put them to good use.
Heal the feeling, feel the healing.
As the Djembe is the Healing Drum I want to proceed to the healing.

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3/13 Manimous Class (Karim as Substitute) by gr3vans on Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:17 am
Manimou was out of town so Karim taught his dance class.

Abdoulaye Sylla played lead

Warm up - Kassa (sangban)

Dance was Sinte. I started on Sangban and was not as tight as I should be so I moved to kenkeni.

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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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