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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, April 2010, day 3 by michi on Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:09 am
Today, Group 1 reviewed Zaouli 5 for about 15 minutes, and then moved on to Zaouli 6. We got most of the way through the break--only two more phrases missing, which we'll do tomorrow.

Group 2 reviewed Dibon and then moved on to Zaoli 7. They got about halfway through that break.

Monette and Mamady announced that on Sunday, they'll have everyone over for a late afternoon/early evening party. Sadly, I won't be able to attend because I'll be flying to San Francisco on Friday night and will come back only on Monday morning. (I'm visiting long-time friends there for the weekend.)

Mamady announced that, for week 2, he'll be splitting the groups differently, according to skill level. He said that's because he recognizes that some of the advanced people have come from far away and he wants to make sure that they get properly challenged. Seeing how the first three days have shaped up, I'm not at all sure that I want to be challenged any further... ...

[ Continued ]

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A Year in the Life of a Djembe Addict by EvanP on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:50 pm
I'm Evan and I'm a djembe addict.

It's been a little over a year since I not only learned what a djembe is, but how to spell it, how to play it (sometimes/mostly), at least names/locations of 25% of the countries in Africa, and about 2% of their culture.

In January I had the opportunity to attend a Mamady Keita workshop. Although I didn't meet the minimum requirement of 1 year of experience, my teacher requested an exception for me and Ali/Mamady approved. All of the superlatives are trite and overused, but it blew my mind. I learned so much, not just about drumming and rhythms, but about pedagogy. Mamady is the best teacher of anything I've ever had. He was able, in a class of 40-50 people, to connect individually with each of us, offering encouragement and pushing to our limits (but not beyond). An added bonus was an amazing party after the second class at a local Cuban musician's house for a rumba. The energy and music was fantastic, and it was great seeing Mamady play conga...

[ Continued ]

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Mini-Guinea Singapore, Sep 2010, Day 8-9 by michi on Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:32 am
Day 8:

The intermediate group learned two rhythms. The first one was Sewa (which I believe Mamady created himself—I missed the start of the session, so I have no background info on it). The rhythm has a distinct Ivory Coast feel to it. The dunduns are played upright without bells, and the accompaniments are similar to Bete and Begbe (both from Ivory Coast). The second rhythm was Kotedjuga. (It's called Kotedjuga in Guinea and Koredjuga in Mali.)

Mamady improvised to Kotedjuga at the end of the session. Here is a recording.

The advanced group worked on Mamady's solo technique for Soliwulen. Most people were struggling severely with the last two techniques, which require precise micro-timing to sound right.

Mamady improvised to Soliwulen, which was a treat. You can listen to it here.

...

[ Continued ]

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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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