I am very happy and excited to tell you about an amazing new film documentary by Aja Salvatore called “Music In Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good”. This feature-length documentary is about the musicians, dancers and everyday people of Mali who are creating inspiring heartfelt music in some of the most difficult living conditions of West Africa.
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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,
I love to play djembes and I also love to study the music we make with djembes. Djembe soloing is a very small part of djembe music as a whole. The djembe is a communal drum and is about community and unity. We all (myself included) get caught up in being the soloist as it is so much fun! But keep in mind that it is about a whole group of people, musicians,dancers and others, too!
Toca artist and Toca endorsee Michael Pluznick shows the fun Zaouli break and Kuku solo technique for djembes and dunun on Toca Stage Series Pro wood djembe and Toca Freestyle Djundjuns.
In this video I am showing how to play the Mali style Sunu rhythm composition on two drums “ballet” style which means the drums are not sideways, they are standing up vertically. When I studied with my teachers, master drummer Aruna Sidibe and Brulye Doumbia they taught me this way. They can also be played sideways of course.
In this video I am sharing and showing you the traditional solo patterns or “techniques” as many people call them for the Mali style Sunu rhythm arrangement as I learned it from my teachers Mali Djembe Master Drummer Aruna SIdibe & Brulye Doumbia while I was living and studying in Mali.