What is drumming really about? Of course our beloved traditional hand drumming is about musicality, technique, history, culture, education, spirituality, devotion,self expression, creativity, love and I am sure I missed a few things. “Anke Dje Anke Be” means come to gather in peace in the Melinke language of the Mali Empire (the Bambara say anka gnogogne). It also means unity and the djembe drum symbolizes unity. According to my Mali Drum friend Djembe Fola Djembe Thunder, “Now djembe is from djama be. Which turned out to become djembe or djinbe or jenbe. Djembe means people have gathered djama is crowd be is are there the crowd is there drama be”. Bata, the sacred drum originating from the Yoruba people of West Africa and then in Cuba and now in the …
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The beginners, *(all of our) need to solo in traditional drumming situations. Most people getting involved with hand drums such as congas and djembes get inspired by seeing a video, being at a drum circle or a performance where they have seen someone soloing. Something clicks. Something calls us. We are moved in a very positive way. And I salute this. The drum is healing. We want to play it, we want to “do our own thing”. It feels personal. It is personal. At once for anyone that touches a drum there is a connection. I would venture to say a connection to spirit. It intrigues and inspires us all. The need to create. To improv, To improvise. It is a valid feeling. Its great we all have it. What …
“Keepers of the Flame” is a documentary about the elder
statesmen of Rumba who live in Matanzas and Havana.
Francisco Zamorra Chirino, (“Menini”) and Pedro Aballi Torriente
(“Regalado”) are two of these elder statesmen and co-founders
of AfroCuba de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s preeminent folkloric
groups. Both Menini and Regalado are the keepers of the undying
and fervent flame of Rumba and the deep and profound folkloric
rhythms which were brought to Cuba from Africa.
This is a classic rumba video from my vault. It features the group, “Raices Profunda” (Deep Roots) from Havana Cuba.
The dance and drum rhythm is called rumba columbia.
This is a video clip of a dance performance we witnessed in Havana, Cuba in 1895 when I went there to study traditional Afro Cuban drumming. The group performing is called, Raices Profunda or “Deep Roots” in english. This is a dance for the Orisha Oshun. The drummers are playing bata drums from the Yoruba tradition brought to Cuba by the slaves.
This is a demonstration and sound test of my 4 new Spirit In The Wood conga drums made by Conrad Kubiak in Pennsylavania from solid logs. These are on piece drums (shells) all made from the same tree. The type of wood used is called “Figured Ash”.