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Gambia by Jacab on Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:47 pm
Hi, I am going to Gambia on the 7th December 2009, I am going on my own and staying at Kotu beach and want to get in as much drumming as I can am pretty new to Djembie but love it, so would be grateful for any info am on a bit of a tight budget Gwen

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Mini-Guinea San Diego, May 2010, day 10 by michi on Sat May 08, 2010 7:36 am
Day 10 (Friday) of the camp.

Last day of teaching--the performance will be tomorrow.

The intermediate group finished Mendiani. Not easy to feel, and quite a difficult solo.

The advanced group quickly rehearsed Djigui and then moved on to one of Mamady's dununba compositions called Seli Mafo. "Seli" means celebration or prayer, and "Mafo" means good or happy. In other words, it means "Happy party".

On days of festivals and celebrations, there is a custom among the Mandingue people to have a group of drummers walk around the village to wake people up in a joyful way at 5:00 am (!) in preparation of the day's celebrations. I asked whether people wouldn't throw things at the musicians for being woken up at 5:00am by drums and the answer was "only money" :)

Normally, a variety of traditional party rhythms are played for this occasion; Mamady composed this rhythm...

[ Continued ]

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3/16 practice at the Shed by gr3vans on Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:26 am
Michael, Nick, and Jessica

Jessica (girlfriend) has shown some interest in playing a bit. I want to get her into the dunun, so I brought her over to the shed to teach her some basics before Michael and Nick were going to be coming. She is a fast learner and very capable.

Once everyone was there we mostly worked on Soli.
Jess stuck to the Kenkeni and once I had worked out some Sangban variations that were plaguing me I moved over to the djembe and Nick worked on the same variations. On Djembe I worked on some solo phrases that I learned eons ago from Fred Simpson. I also ironed out some issues moving from the echauffment into the break with all duns playing echauf.

All in all it was a good night.

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Mini-Guinea San Diego, May 2010, day 9 by michi on Fri May 07, 2010 6:00 am
Day 9 (Thursday) of the camp.

The intermediate group started on Mendiani today, and worked through the first few phrases of the solo original.

The advanced group did Soboninkun, including (the complete) solo original. That session was a lot of fun--Soboninkun is one of those rhythms that hovers between 6/8 and 4/4 and really is neither...

The afternoon pyramid was spent rehearsing. The pyramid is complete now, so tomorrow we'll spend time rehearsing and polishing, and maybe add a bit of choreography, but no more new material. I posted a sound clip of the arrangement of Djansa, Macru, Fe 3, and Denadon. (No solos, just short rhythm sections between the arranged breaks.)

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Djaa by Dugafola on Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:37 pm
Bolokada taught Djaa last night with a little arrangement.

interesting tidbit...Bolo told us that he loves Djaa because it's the rhythm/occasion that made him famous in his region. he is a folkloric specialist for all types occasions: weddings, safinamalos, dembadon, baptisms, circumcision, dennabos, kassa, mendiani, kawa etc...but the Djalaban is where it all started.

he explained there are two basic occasions for djaa: the first being the fete/party for young people and the second being the Djalaban - the last "dance" or "fete" for a young woman about to be wed. Djalaban is the first fete in the wedding sequence. the second is the safinamalo(i also got to play a safina...another blog for another time), third is dembadon, and the fourth is the actual marriage. the woman to be married doesn't even get to dance at her own party. she's not even really present until they process her out and her friends and family (all female) dance and sing around her. at the...

[ Continued ]

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