G'day it's Jeremy P here, from Melbourne, Australia.
As a long time lurker, I figured it's time to actually introduce myself and offer my thanks to this community in general for the awesome knowledge and robust discussion that takes place. It feeds my own djembe playing, and keeps me yearning for more
It's just gone 6 years since djembe began to take over my life, and in what I'm sure is a familiar story to so many of you here: you see djembe being performed (by which I mean the music
as a whole, not necessarily just the djembe in singular) and it pulls at you like a physical force; you run out and by the first djembe you can find; start taking a class; run out and buy a much better djembe now your teacher has pointed you in the right direction; start jamming with your mates in the local park (and get booted out of the park for it...); take up a second class; feel like a hotshot so start your own ensemble; continue on with as many classes, retreats, and workshops as you can humanly get too; wind up your ensemble as life changes (and glance over your shoulder with a slight wince at how hot your thought you were), but continue to pursue as much djembe as possible...
And from there I s'pose it becomes a bit more individual - I've had the very fortunate circumstance to have been taught by Mady Keita, along with some of the other great players here in Melbourne. Needless to say, due to my continued exposure and learning under Mady (he has and continues to be my main teacher) the old school Malian groove is what pulls me most.
I've managed to get my feet to the Motherland just once so far, but it was extremely rewarding: I spent a month Ghana (on the arranged tour hosted by Simon Fraser and Tuza Afutu - such an easy entry into Africa) followed by ten days in Mali at Jeremy C's Djembe Hotel: driven of course by my desire to soak in more of the Malian style with the teachers there. Also managed to squeeze in the Festival sur le Niger whilst there which was also very illuminating regarding the local music and dance.
Along the way I was asked to start teaching (the greatest lesson path anyone can embark on really - you think you know a rhythm til you have to teach it!!), and have had the added fortune to continue playing more and more, and now manage to pay the bills following this path.
Glad to have finally made my acquaintance with you all and look forward to making more time to chew the djembe phat with you all