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African Music Education for All

The Djembe

The Djembe is a West African Drum originating in the ancient Empire of Mali which stretched over the countries known today as Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, The Ivory Coast and even as far West as The Gambia and Senegal.

The djembe has become the most popular African drum particularly in the past twenty years through ex-soloists of les Ballets Africains such as Mamady Keita and Famoudou Konate moving to Europe with the mission of transmitting the Malinke musical tradition.

Other West African instruments include the Kora (Manding Harp) and the Balaphon (Manding xylophone) which are traditionally played by Griot families who played for the King and his court.

Griots are people who know the history of all the families of the Manding Empire and were employed to "big up" the king before great challenges.

No celebration is complete without Griots to play and sing and bless the occasion. Many of the popular West African musicians today still hail from Griot families.

The Djembe can now be found all over the world. It has travelled far from its roots as it has such a powerful voice and a language all of its own which is understood by people worldwide.

The School's aim is to explain

the language of the Djembe, how

it speaks in the Rhythm and converses with the bass drums; the Dundunba, the Sangban and the Kenkeni. The school also aims to increase people's knowledge of the traditional dance which accompanies

Djembe music.

For more in depth information on Manding music click here

For more on the Kora click here