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Djembefola - Djembe Forum •Amsterdam
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Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:30 am
by Paul
Hi, anyone know the scene in Amsterdam. I am going for a week in the start of September and would like to take a class, play a dance class, meet some folk and check out some nice guinean djembes..


Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:26 am
by Dennis103
There are a couple of top teachers in Amsterdam
http://www.wulabakan.nl/ - Ponda O'Bryan
http://www.djembe-drame.nl/ - Moussé Dramé
http://www.djembekeita.nl/pagina80.html (Ruigoord, close to Amsterdam)
http://www.wiewaar.nl/nlnholland.html search for Bintou Kouyaté. She does dance and Jaco Benders teaches Djembé.
Use Babelfish to translate.

Holland is SMALL - like 300km diagonal. From Amsterdam most important cities like The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam are within one hours distance. Feel free to contact me if you want more info.

Happy drumming,

Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:54 pm
by bubudi
good thing about holland is that belgium is very close by and the scene is superb there.
but come to think of it in holland there are salia traore (burkina) and kaloga traore (guinea), as well as occasional workshops by many other drummers who regularly tour around europe.

Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:01 pm
by Paul
Thanks guys thats great. Only have a few days with the girlfriend (luckily I have converted her to drum and dance) will check out as many as possible as there are no Djembefola in ireland and Im always looking for master to bring over..

Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:42 am
by Dennis103
bubudi wrote:good thing about holland is that belgium is very close by and the scene is superb there.
but come to think of it in holland there are salia traore (burkina) and kaloga traore (guinea), as well as occasional workshops by many other drummers who regularly tour around europe.
Salia is very good, his personal preference is dance accompagniment. He is fine giving master classes, but likes playing far better than teaching :D. Kaloga is always pitched as a teacher for beginners, stringing rhythmic parts together without completing the whole rhythm. Ousmane Seye, for whom I organise lessons, is an average player, but brilliant in turning each lesson or workshop into a party. If you want top quality, try to get Ponda O'Bryan - I consider his teaching method the best of the teachers I know. He uses the revolving teaching method: everyone gets to play all the instruments.
Or invite Babara Bangoura, Mamady Keita's solo player, from Brussels. Young, full of energy, excellent teacher who can give you the structure to grasp complicated off-beat phrases easily. Ibro Konate is another option, from Germany but also working in the Netherlands.

There are many more in the Netherlands, and I have followed workshops and master classes with many of them. You come to realise that not all african teachers are equal, all have their strong and weak points both in teaching and in playing technique. Some teachers pitch at the low end and go for the party atmosphere or give lots of freedom to improvise solo's yourself, others pitch at the high end and make you really sweat to get you to learn all the parts. The only one with TTM certicfication that I know of is Souleyman Camara, also from Mamady Keita's group, he is currently in the south of France but did work in Rotterdam for quite a while. He too is brilliant in explaining exactly how everything fits together.

For coming over for a few days and trying to follow a workshop or class, you can also go to www.timmy.nl and click on Kalender 2009 on the left.

Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:41 pm
by Michel
Hello Paul,

Here Michel, living in Amsterdam. I have been looking around for things to do for you, but the only thing the teachers over here are busy with at the beginning of september is with the start of their weekly lessons for their students. I would be glad to try to invite you for the weekly lesson I take on mondays from 19.00-20.30, just to look around. If you are interested, I will discuss it with Moussé Dramé, my teacher. He is an excellent teacher, able to play all styles. But his background is Malian from Senegal, so not really the Guinea style you prefer.... The level of the class is one of the highest in Holland, but over all the level is not so high here compared to for example Belgium or France.
But we have lots of fun!

Let me know if you want to know more of the beautifull city of Amsterdam, since I live there I know quite a lot and I would be glad to get you to see the right things.....(clubs, record stores, musea, coffeeshops, cafe's, restaurants, places to stay.....?)


Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:13 pm
by Paul
Thanks Michel,

Hope I will be there for a Monday so. I like all styles really and spent alot of time in Senegal and Gambia myself. I've never actually been to Guinea as I like to play kamelle ngoni and I spend most of my time studying that in Burkina and just meet up with some friends to play drum in the evening or at parties or weddings.. I did hard djembe training in my first years and then badly damaged my hearing, so i cant sustain the kind of training i need to become a really good djembefola unfortunatly

Any help would be great as I can dump the girlfriend off in a coffeshop and she wont even know im gone..


Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:44 pm
by Michel
Hi Paul,

It seems a nightmare to have this ear damage.... Now i'm convinced: I am going to protect my ears. We just had a great weekend of workshops with great teachers and we drummed till our hands hurted.... and my ears did a little 'beep' as well. I hope you can still enjoy playing.
And you chose a great other instrument: I myself try to play a little bit of kamelen'goni as well... Let me know when you come to Amsterdam, I might be able to help you to make your visit complete!


Re: Amsterdam

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:32 am
by michi
I developed tinnitus a little over a year ago. It appeared suddenly and without warning, not gradually. Since then, I live with a permanent very high-pitched whistle with some white noise in both ears, a little worse on the left. There is no known treatment for tinnitus, and its effects are permanent. (This noise will most likely be with me until the day I die.)

I don't have proof positive of course, but it seems likely that my drumming is at least partly responsible. Eight to ten hours of drumming a week, with sound levels well in excess of 100dB...

Since then, I bought musicians earplugs. The ones I use are the Etymotic ER-20. They work well and reduce volume considerably.

It's not ideal playing with them on--the high end gets reduced more than the low end, so things sound a little muffled and dull. I find that the earplugs disconnect me from the music and the other players somewhat so, when playing with them, it seems that I lose some of the edge in my playing and some of the impact and immediacy of the music. But it's better than losing my hearing... (I do take them out when I perform though because I want to feel and be with all of the music then.)

But let's not kid ourselves: hearing damage is a serious risk for a drummer. When you look up workplace health and safety rules in many countries, you'll find that > 100dB sound level is classified as dangerous, leading to permanent hearing loss over time; any employer subjecting his employees to that kind of sound level even for short periods would find themselves in court in no time at all...

So I recommend that people wear earplugs, at least for practice and drum classes. Doing this may well save their hearing. And the hideous thing is that, if people don't protect their ears, they will be just fine for a long time, so they tend to think that hearing protection is not necessary until, one day, their ears suddenly are not fine and irreversibly damaged...