Wow, Yesterdays Djembe drumming with Chris Berry was great fun and going hard out for the dancers was even better. A lot of fun was had by everyone. It will be a real fun night tonight and I am really looking forward to it. Now if only my hands will stop hurting :)
I think I have not sang so much in ages and definitely not in a group like this before. At 6pm we all started a journey that will culminate in a grand finale of Mbira, Marimba, Dance and Drum on the Sunday night. This night was for the singing and sing we did. A beautiful melody with the Mbira playing along that just captivated all of us and took us to a hypnotic and mystical place, that seemed to open all our hearts. Sunday night is looking to be amazing!
Sunday at 7pm, Free entry or Koha to those who can afford it at the Westley Church on Taranaki.
What an amazing night we had last night at the community gardens on Mount Vic. Nimba (the group I perform with) was asked to drum along with an African dance class that was being held there. I think what really made this so special was the enthusiasm Monica brought to the whole event. The room was full and everyone soon got into the groove mirroring Monica's dance movement and energy. After a few tempo increases we all got into the grove and went through the dances start to finish.
I think we all agreed that this is why we love drumming so much. High tempo, high energy and beautiful movement is what these events are all about, bringing an uplifting fusion between rhythm and dance that always leaves me wanting more.
Looks like everyone is getting into the African Beats vibe with brand new events happening this month. Starting with African Dancing on the 22nd and then Drumming and singing on the 25th, these are a must for anyone's calendar. Community Music Junction will be facilitating the Kapiti event and also the group Nimba (which I am part of) will be accompanying the dance workshop. Hopefully I will see you all then :)
For more info click here or go to course info above.
Really enjoyed my first day with my first class on Friday. We managed to cover a few of the basic hand techniques for playing the djembe and eventually got everyone playing Kuku, a circle-dance for the woman, celebrating the men returning from fishing.
Although we only played the first 2 djembe parts interspersed with a guiding Dunun and Sangban rhythm, we managed to keep the tempo constant and experience our first African multi part rhythm as a group. Amazing really as most of the group had not played before.
Looking forward to next week :)
Who wants to play or learn to play the Djembe drum after work on a Thursday (advanced) or Friday (beginners)? Beginners classes start Feb 10th, 6pm to 7.30pm, $80 per term (Djembe's provided). Advanced classes start on the 2nd of Feb at $90 per term (drop-in rate per class $15 with Djembe's provided)
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Today I received an email from my drum Master (Julian Raphael) asking me if I wanted to run a small beginners course on African rhythms and djembe drumming in our local arts centre Toi Poneke, Wellington City (New Zealand for those international types), to which I immediately and excitedly replied yes.
This prompted me to start this blog, so that I have somewhere to channel my enthusiasm for Djembe drumming and African Rhythm. Also I will be writing anything that I find useful to help people understand and learn about playing the Djembe, document the classes, thoughts and issues that come up for open discussion and provide a place for open discussion with regards to all things African percussion.
For those of you who have not been to my Facebook page then feel free to go to http://www.facebook.com/APCCNZ and check out what is happening in the Wellington area with regards to African Percussion.
I look forward to your comments and discussion :)
My name is Simon Elwell and I have been part of the Community Music Junction Djembe classes at a student and now a teacher for over 10 years. I am enthusiastic intermediate Djembe player who loves sharing anything I know about this subject.