It’s not the drum it’s the drummer! What makes a drum have that special sound? Is it the wood? The place or country it is from? The goat skin or what the goat ate? Just what is it? About 10 years ago I was at a Mamady Keita workshop trying to pick out a djembe from a local seller there who was displaying his goods outside the workshop. I asked Mamady, what do you think about this drum? He hit it. Do you know what he replied? “The drum is good, but it is not the drum it is the drummer”. He was letting me know I had some fine tuning to do on my technique, for sure! I’ll never forget that. It’s not the drum it’s the drummer! I …
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Last night there was an epic drum jam on Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand. There were drummers from all across the globe! We got permission to play right in front of the police station because “King”, the local police chief is a big fan of Eddie Tamba our Liberian master of ceremonies and djembe fola. The drum jam had originally started on Khao San by members of the Rumpuree Dance and Drum school of Bangkok as an outreach program. It quickly turned into a happening community event with players from all around the world passed through the infamous Khao San Road district of Bangkok. The drumming had stopped for a while because King had a heart attack, but now he is up and running again and so were we. …
Aruna and Brulye teach Michael P Mendiani solo technique at a djembe class at Centre Togola in the Sabalibougou district of Bamako Mali. Drum class and djembe class is 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.earthcds.com/africa/west/mali Didadi is a rhythm that can be used by young people to compete at festivals and celebrations. Didadi can be played for the expected arrival of an important person or at end-of-the-year holidays. Some say it originates from the Bougouni circle , of Mali’s Sikasso region. The didadi is also organized during the end of the year holidays. What many of us know as a dunun (double sided drum) is here called didadidunun and is the instrument played for the didadi . The hand plays the drum on the skin opposite the one hit by the wooden drumstick complementing the stick’s playing. Djembes are also used as accompaniment and one for solo or “lead”.
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/arunabrulye An amazing 6 year old child djembe drummer solos at Guinee, West African “Spectac” (big show in Conakry, Guinea). Music similar to this and other similar high quality digitaly recorded audio recordings I did in Mali are now available for sale: http://www.earthcds.com/africa/west/mali
Djembe Fola (master drummer) Bolokada Conde shows us his amazingly smooth technique soloing on his arrangement of Konkoba dununba in Oakdland California circa 2004