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Mini-Guinea San Diego, May 2010, day 8 by michi on Wed May 05, 2010 10:56 pm
Day 8 (Wednesday) of the camp.

The intermediate group continued to work on Deniya, including three different breaks, which took up most of the session. Towards the end, Mamady demonstrated the parts for a new 4/4 rhythm called Balandugu Sila. The rhythm was inspired by the trip to Balandugu where Mamady did a pyramid with his students. (If you buy a copy of the volume 4 DVD, there is a great documentary in the bonus material about that trip. Also, listen to Taylor's interview, where he tells a few stories about the horror trip they had to get there. It took forever due to bad roads and technical problems with the cars.) The intermediates will start learning this rhythm tomorrow.

The advanced group finished off Yankadi. At the end of the session, Mamady improvised to Yankadi, which was a joy to listen to. Technically quite simple phrases, but they are placed "just so" and flow out with...

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Fanka Fellas (Singapore Djembe Group) by monotone on Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:25 pm

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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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One Letter in front of the Other by EvanP on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:52 am
I've never blogged. To be totally honest, I'm not sure I'm comfortable writing a diary on the 'net, but thought I'd give it a shot. We'll see where it goes.

I'd never heard of a djembe 6 weeks ago. My journey began with a present for a friend, and in the few hours between when I purchased the drum and gave the present, I got hooked.

I've now got two instructors, a quickly growing MP3, CD, and DVD library of Western African music. Oh, and a beautiful lengke drum that sometimes makes amazing sounds (when my technique allows), and always makes me smile.

Right now I'm struggling with rhythms. My western ears and brain really struggle to make sense of the rhythms. The challenge started, however, with making the right noises.

My first challenge was the slap. Bass and tones were pretty easy, but I just couldn't get my fingertips to sting the way they should. Then I hit one. Then another after many failed attempts. Now I'm slapping with ease, but not liking the sound of my tones....

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Bolokada Conde invites you to Guinea this Dec.! by MalenaAmusa on Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:14 pm
It brings me great pleasure to invite you to BOLOKADA CONDE's trip & workshop intensive in Guinea this December, 2013 !!

The trip is one of the Bolokada's most ambitious -- 21+ days of daily drum & dance classes, and tours in Conakry and three villages. Drummers will dive into full-sensory and immersed master classes on all drums, technique, solo and accompaniment, rhythms, songs, and folklore. Dancers will study with director of Ballet Soleil d'Afrique Ibrahim Sory Camara, one of Guinea’s greatest choreographers.

Clean accommodation, tasty food, drums, and in-country transport are provided, not to mention awesome fellowship with Bolokada's family, friends, and students !! Flights are about $1,500. The trip is $1,800 for 3 weeks. Bolokada invites professionals, master students, teachers, performers, and enthusiasts from across the globe for this amazing experience. [Trip website: http://www.trip2guinea.com/ ...

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