What we're about

This is a NEW group as of Nov 19, 2018

The comments below describe what it’s about. When we get a few interested, I’ll schedule a meeting at my studio to discuss interests and plans, plus do some drumming.


This MEETUP GROUP is for serious drummers who want to go deeper, and other musicians who may want to learn and blend their instruments in creative ensembles. It does not replace ongoing Monday night drumming meetup, but has a somewhat different focus.

The other meetup group DRUMMING AND DANCE IN MYRTLE BEACH holds weekly sessions called DRUMMING FROM THE HEART. That group is for all levels, with a priority of FUN, AWARENESS, and growing skills to use drumming intuitively in many contexts. Inspired by the traditions. Every Monday, 7 pm, FREE

THIS GROUP is for those willing to try focused study, based on mastering (as if that is ever possible :) some of the greatest rhythms from West Africa: Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Fasso ... as well as exploring some links to Latin and Jazz-Blues genres. We study versions and arrangements as shared by masters such as Famoudou Konate, Fadouba Oulare, Bolokada Conde, Mamady Wadaba Kourama, Mamady Keita, Sega Cisse, Ibrahima Camara and other great teachers such as Alan Tauber and Monette Marino.

Some experience required, but open to ALL levels. Stay around ... “levels” will vanish as a goal. :)

We will focus on smooth effortless technique, and the “feel” shared by the masters. The drumming will involve learning multiple parts, and how to play in an ensemble. Parts for most rhythms include Breaks, Intro, Outro, djembe accompaniments, djembe solo phrases and improvising, dunun parts for kenkeni, sangban, dununba.

As we build ensemble skills we will work on variations and interaction with dancers. Some visits planned to a musicians and dancers group in Wilmington to explore these skills.

Visits to workshops with master musicians such as Bolokada Conde, Wadaba, Sayon Camars, Nansedy Keita will be available.

Also, opportunities for extensive study in West Africa villages. (There’s a three to four week trip planned this winter to Oroco village, Guinea with Wadaba Kourama and others.. a village much the same as it was 1,000 years ago)

Seems “Technical”?

Actually, technical is just the surface. That’s how West African drumming has been taught in the US for the last 30 years or so. But that’s not the “real thing”. It is NOT the reality of what the teachers know. Watch videos from villages. A rhythm is seldom played exactly the same way. It’s an ever changing flow and dance. We learn the technique (or it’s basics) then leap into the unkown. On a good day... the music becomes “Real”... passers by are drawn into dance.

For company sometimes we visit fine players and dancers in Wilmington, and the occasional visiting masters.

We plan a performance, combining this group with an Intermediate/advanced class at CCU, Conway.

Professional quality djembes and dununs provided, but you will get help on finding your own drum when ready to buy or upgrade.

I’m at 617-967-2962 johnmtracy@hotmail.com
North Myrtle Beach.

(PS ... IT’s FREE ... after over 30 years with great drummers, and over 20 years teaching, I’m giving back what has generously been shared. )

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