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3/11/10 One World Dance and Drum - Soli week 1 by gr3vans on Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:44 am
This is Sarah-Lee Koumbassa's Dance Class. From here on out I will refer to it as OWDD and assume that she is teaching unless otherwise noted.

Lead Djembe - Karim Koumbassa
Accompaniments - David, First timer Newman
Shekere - another new guy forgot his name

Sangban - Me
Kenkeni - Nick
Dununba - Michael

Warm up - Kassa
Dance for the evening - Soli (week 1)

Everything seemed pretty 'on' tonight. The energy was good, Soli especially rocked. While we were waiting for the dancers at one point I went into the echauffement that Michael Hunter had just showed me and got stuck... this could be because we didn't go over the sangban break and, yeah I got the stink eye from Karim (well deserved). After class Karim showed Michael and me some interesting variations for the dunun and sangban. S var had a really cool 'lilt' at the end. Hopefully I can get him to go over it again so that I can work on applying it with the dancers.

Sarah likes to do the same dance several weeks in a row and...

[ Continued ]

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Teaching Youth the Djembe by PeacefulWarrior on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:13 am
I recently started sharing the little I know about playing Djembe with youth’s ages 8 to 11. It is challenging to hold their attention but so rewarding when I see the youngsters 'get it'. I am motivated to share with the youth because to me the future of maintaining the integrity of the traditional West African rhythms is in found in the hearts, minds and spirits of youth inclined to view West African rhythms as important. Trouble is even for the ones that demonstrate a strong connection with the rhythm they must divide their attention with the computers, cell phones and I-pods. I am introducing this topic because I would like to hear stories of teachers of the rhythms, to especially the youth. What are your experiences your triumphs and techniques used to effectively reach the youth?

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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 Singapore, Sep 2010, Day 7 by michi on Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:05 am
Day 7:

The intermediates continued to work on Yankadi/Macru and spent the entire session on that.

The advanced group finished the solo for Djagbe, and Mamady then showed the dunduns for Djagba. It's Djagbe as it is played in the Kouroussa region, where they use a different dundun pattern.

Mamady also improvised to Djagbe. The improvisations he does once he has finished teaching a rhythm are a highlight of his camps for me. You get to sit right there and are treated to some of the best djembe playing anywhere in the world. You can find a recording of it in the Media section.

The advanced group then moved on to Soliwulen and finished all the basic parts for that. Mamady will teach his solo technique for Soliwulen today.

The pyramid added another rhythm slotted in between Kedu and Soliwulen: Tiriba. This is the first time I've seen Mamady use six rhythms instead of five...

[ Continued ]

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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...

[ Continued ]

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