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Drum Workshops with Namory Keita in the Chicago Area

From: Kristie V.
Sent on: Monday, May 3, 2010 11:05 AM
Hello, Drummers.
Below is another message from Helen Bond regarding the workshops with Namory Keita in the Chicago Area.
- Kristie

For the first time in the US we are thrilled to Introduce NAMORY KEITA - Djembefola, Teacher of the Malinke Drum Orchestra with the Dunun Drums

From Hand to Hand:
The Wassa Kunba!
Drumming Experience (details about Namory are below...)
May 13 - 18, 2010 Workshop in the Chicago Area 

May 13 - 16, 2010   ALL LEVELS WELCOME 
Where:  Lakeview Center, Gillson Park, Wilmette, IL (North of Chicago at 800 Gillson Park Drive, Wilmette, IL.  Just east at Michigan & Washington Ave. (inside Gillson Park).  Lake Street dead ends into the park.  Ample free parking available. (please note - mapquest cannot find the park building)

Time:  Thursday & Friday 6:00pm - 10:30pm
   Saturday & Sunday 12:30pm - 5:30pm (4 hours of instruction per day)

Cost:  $260 per person for all 4 days or $65 per day (youth 18 and under $55 per day) 4 hours of instruction 


Where:  Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center, 2007 Civic Center Way, Round Lake Beach, IL
West of the intersection of 83 and Hook Drive, right next to the Round Lake Beach Metra stop on the Metra Train North Central Service Line. Ample free parking available.

Time:  Monday & Tuesday 10:30am - 3:00pm
Class hours are arranged to work with the Metra Schedule which arrives at 10:20am and departs at 3:10pm.  The station is located literally right next door to the Cultural Center.  For those who are driving to the classes, please be sure to give yourself enough time to arrive on time!

Cost:  $80 per day (space is limited)  Dunun (base Drums) will be provided for your use.

We will have lunch delivered from Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop.

more more info on the classes go to


Wassa Kunba! ��� ���Great Joy!���
Through these amazing workshops, Namory Keita shares with everyone the great joy of traditional Malink�� hand drumming from Guinea, West Africa.

Many people travel to Guinea but few go beyond the city of Conkary to study in the villages where the drummers are like a hidden treasure. This will be a unique opportunity to experience the rich artistic culture of village life in Guinea without traveling a great distance. You will hear the inspiring call of the djembe and learn the beautiful songs of the village djelli (oral historians). You���ll feel the powerful melodies of the dunun bass drums.

Come be a part of a joyful environment where we come together as a small village and enjoy the uplifting beauty of the Malink�� ensemble.

Whatever your background or experience level, take this unique opportunity to study with this modern day village drummer who  still lives there and plays for the life events to this day.  

Improve your skills and experience Wassa Kunba! with Namory Keita.

Namory Keita - Djembefola/Teacher of the Complete Drum Orchestra of Hamana
Namory has been the lead djembefola for the village since 2006. He grew up drumming with his family and friends, including Nansady Keita and Solo Keita, and has studied and worked with his uncle, djembe-master Famoudou Konate as well. Namory started playing plastic water buckets and tin cans when he was 5 years old. While going to school in the village he was upgraded to be able to play an actual drum and started playing the kenkeni. He could not wait for school to be finished each day so he could play the kenkeni. After four years of being in the midst of the drummers as the kenkeni player he then moved to the dununba for a couple of years and finally was moved up to the sangban and djembe. These two he started playing at the same time as understanding the melody between the djembe and sangban is most important.  While talking to Namory about this he says "they talk to each other and you must know how to communicate".  In the meantime, while playing the bass drums Namory started playing for the drummers while they were teaching foreigners and he started to learn how the visiting foreigners need to hear the music so they could understand it. 

In 2001, the visiting foreigners started coming to Namory to have him teach them about the music and culture. Namory loves nothing more than sharing his music and culture with his students!   He feels the exchange is important because he believes, that as people get to know other ways of life this will help the world.   For him the music is about joy, fun and friendship.  Some of Namory���s first students were from Australia, Japan, France, Germany and Poland. 

In 2008 and 2009 Namory completed two successful tours in Europe. He has also recorded CDs with Billy Konate and Diarra Konate (sons of Famoudou Konate). Namory hosts djembe and dunun workshops in Guinea. 

Namory is known for his love of his village, his respect for traditional music, and his infectious joy of life. The fact that he's a fabulous djembefola and a generous teacher only adds to his charms! 

From Hand to Hand
The Wassa Kunba! teaching system involves an intensive 4 hours of instruction per day and ensures that you will leave with everything you will need to study and perform a complete Malink�� rhythm.

You���ll learn the basic rhythms on the three dununs and the djembe accompaniment parts. You will also learn echauffements (the patterns that heat up the song), djembe solo techniques, introductions and breaks, dunun variations and even songs that accompany the rhythms in the village. You���ll learn the origins of each rhythm, receive expert instruction on all instruments in the traditional Malink�� djembe orchestra and deepen your understanding of the place of music, dance and song in West African life. Namory is able to work simultaneously with students of all levels - beginner to professional. 

Absolutely everyone is welcome!    

Each workshop includes a set-aside time during which all of the drum parts are played so that students can have a clean recording of the material.

We look forward to being with you in the music!  

Best wishes,

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