Recently, we've been playing in the Central Park of Santa Clara, working on traditional Dundun arrangements. We started from Djansa and Soli, two rhythms that are relatively simple and represent well the 4/4 and 6/8 feels of West African rhythms. 
Check out the videos in the Learning section: Djansa and Soli.
 
 
Check out a new rhythm in the Learning section - Djole.
Presented are three Djembe accompaniments and Dundun part Ballet style, first in slow tempo and then how they are played in an arrangement.
This is an intermediate level rhythm, so watch and listen carefully :)
Below is this great rhythm played by Master Mamady Keita and company:
 
 
I'm happy to let you know that we did our next five rhythms already! And of course, they have been a little more advanced than the first five. Today, I'm adding the learning videos for these rhythms to our  Learning page:

A short video from our last class featuring Koredjuga and Yankadi solo at the end:
 
 
The Mendiani page now has a class recording of the arrangement that we used to play with Mamadou. It was played as an intermediate piece by the leader, each time with a different part of the group, the rest going on with the accompaniment and Dunduns uninterrupted. The roll in the beginning is where the leader interacts emotionally with the group, building up more energy, and the whole piece serves as an additional impulse to speed up the rhythm:

http://vimeo.com/60533729

 
 
Below is a video showing the breakdown of the introduction to Djansa that we're preparing for the performance. All tones and slaps are played by myself (just for now), the group comes in with the bases at the right time :) Here we go:

http://vimeo.com/59858387

 
 
I'm happy to remind you that winter holidays are over (for most of us), and we continue the class at increasing pace! We have a pretty tight schedule leading to a performance at a spring time Russian House "Kedry" fest, on March, 17th, in Sanborn Park (Saratoga) (you can check the details here: http://kedry.org. Thanks to our Russian friends again for hospitality!) So don't miss your chance to take part in the performance!

Also, we're expanding our Learning section with Dundun parts for all five rhythms. This is so called "Ballet Style" arrangement (in our case, simplified) when all three Dundun drums are played by a single person. For those of you who wants to play as a Dundun player, please arrange for individual lessons, because we don't normally learn these in class.

Check a short video below from our latest class featuring Mendiani and Kuku rhythms played with Dunduns. A whole different story!
 
 
Hi! We have two new rhythms in the Learning section: Kuku and Marakadon.
Also, check out this short video playing Marakadon in class below. Only the brave :)
 
 
Recently, I have discovered an amazing African dance class in Redwood City. The class is taught by extremely energetic & open native African woman, and it has real live Djembe & Dundun drumming as accompaniment! For those of you who enjoy dancing, check this out, it's real fun! But be prepared, because it's a serious workout too :)
I hope one day we'll have dancers in our group too, to bring drumming & dancing together to the fruition!

West African Dance Classes with Renee Puckett

Every Thursday, 7:30 pm
Community Street Jam 
849 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City
(510) 677-2333, (650) 261-9188
 
 
Finally, I have posted two new rhythms to our Learning page: 
So now you have no excuses for not doing your homework anymore :)
If you have any comments/suggestions on how to improve these or anything else that would help your individual practice, make sure to let me know!
 
 
Finally, the website of our class is up and running! Check out videos for our first rhythm Djansa on the Learning page!