Let’s face the facts. Until Mamady Keita arrived in the USA we were playing djembe ass backwards. For example, Mandiani was more often then not being played backwards as Soli, (Donba in Senegal) or visa versa. We were doing the best we could at the time as there was very limited resources available in the late 70’s and very few instructors as well. It was prior to the internet and consumer cmcorders were still years off. All we had was cassette recorders. We westerners needed to be shown and taught “the one”, *(the starting beat or first “pulse” as we call the 4 beat that goes through all of west african drumming and djembe music). We were hearing the music wrong and needed to be shown correctly. It was as …
Currently browsing category
My first trip to Africa was to Mali ,West Africa. I was always scared to go to Africa even though all my friends and students had already gone and the reports were always very positive. I was scared of getting sick. I heard the horror stories of people getting sick there, the poor hospitals, bad conditions and everything else. But in the back of my mind since I first started playing in the 70’s I knew I would go, I knew I had to go. I was just waiting for the right timing,
Many people often ask me “what was it like to study and travel in Guinee”? And “where did you like better Guinee or Mali”? I love both places to study and live but for different reasons. In Guinee I stayed with the late great Kemoko Sano and his family at his compound in Merveilles. I went to Guinea with an old friend who was traveling with me in Mali. But my friend did not like it there so he left after a few days to another compound. It was very interesting for me to stay in a place where no one spoke english except my teacher whose english was barely understandable at best.
Very athletic and amazing dancers solo and perform at a “dununba” community drum and dance celebration. Dununba refers to “strong mans dance” as it was originaly called and used as. This djembe drum and west african dance party takes place at my friend and teachers house, the late, great and legendary Konoko Sano of Ballettes Africans fame.
http://www.earthcds.com/africa/west/m… Aruna and Brulye teach Michael P Mendiani solo technique at a djembe class at Centre Togola in the Sabalibougou district of Bamako Mali. Music, song, djembe and dunun class and djembe lessons are held here every day of the week. If you want to study djembe in Mali, this is the place to go for a djembe lesson or african dance class. These guys and their students really play djembe well! Very inspiring drumming!
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/arunabrulye The Young Guns album was recorded at the community center directly outside the huge bustling market place in Sabalibougou, a small local district of Bamako. Siaka is the leader and premier soloist of this smaller group. He goes through a variety of popular yet traditional peices of djembe music as it is played by his age group in Bamako at weddings, ceremonies and group dance performances. This recording session is for the CD entitled, “Young Guns” on http://www.earthcds.com