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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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Why the djembe matters to me (Part 2) by michi on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:27 am
In 2003, I attended a men's gathering where a group of men congregated in the Australian bush for a few days to talk about men's issues. There were various personal development workshops, ceremonies, yoga, singing, sports, dancing, meditation—you name it. One thing that is popular at such gatherings is drumming and, at this particular event, a group of Australians were (skilfully) playing Mandingue rhythms with a full dundun and djembe ensemble. I remember listening and being absolutely fascinated by the richness of the music, and by its depth and complexity. It was like no other music I'd ever heard before. Whenever there was drumming, I was there to listen and feel the music.

At the gathering, the musicians passed around flyers for an African concert that was taking place a few weeks later, and I decided to go along. As it turned out, Epizo Bangoura performed with the ensemble there, and I got to hear a master djembefola for the first time. This was the most jaw-dropping musical experience o...

[ 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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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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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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