Ivory Coast Drum Workshop

between Elk Garden & Mou, West Virginia, United States


Meet at Lodge House Bon-Fire Circle area in the backyard of the Lodge House / bring chair

All Ages All levels of drumming experience 100% Hands-on Learning

Bring your own good quality djembe or reserve one of ours with option to purchase.

Sogbety’s life story has the ingredients of which movies are made. He was born in the tiny African village of Toufinga in the NW region of Cote d’ Ivoire in West Africa. His grandfather was the chief and medicine man of the village. There, Sogbety learned to play the djembe drum and eventually made his way to Abidjan,one of the large cities in his country where his playing was observed and he was offered the opportunity to come to the United States to perform. If he had stayed in the village, he would have trained all his life to eventually become the medicine man.

Without the chance to experience formal schooling as a young boy, he learned several local languages and then as a teenager learned French when he reached the city. Upon arrival in the United States in his early 20s, he did not know how to speak English but picked it up rapidly and now speaks it very well, all without any formal schooling.

Sogbety is a most talented African drummer and dancer and has entertained many groups and individuals all over the US over the past decade through performances at concerts, festivals, and in workshops. He presents traditional Ivory Coast rhythms, dances and culture in a way that is both instructional and enjoyable. He is one of only a few in the U.S. who is able to perform the Tall Mask, Gue Pelou, a mediator between the ancestors and the living, an Ivory Coast ceremonial dance that is done on stilts.

As well as a performer he is a great instructor and has developed a loyal following with his regularly scheduled drumming instruction sessions. He is patient and considerate with those in his classes. Sogbety has a special energy which his students immediately recognize and love. His class will include learning basic skills on the djembe to make sure everyone has the proper technique to intermediate and advanced rhythms. He will talk about his village life and encourage group discussion.

Sogbety produced his own very successful 3-day West African Festival in Aug. 2006 bringing in 11 instructors in addition to himself. He has worked with Jim Donovan’s Rhythm Renewal weekend in Loretto, PA and also taught with Mamady Keita various times. He did a 2-week drum and dance residency with Samba Diallo at Ohio University and a Day of Drumming at Common Ground Retreat Center in Oberlin, OH. He has conducted workshops for colleges and schools and many other groups.

Phone: 419-544-0977

Contact the organiser

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