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From Darbuka to Djembe 😊

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New friend to AD, Adam picked up a monster 15.5″ Master series Guinea lenke djembe last week. Originally a darbuka player, he wanted a drum with sharp slaps and a big bass. The master series are our top line djembes, boasting immaculate, faultless shells, pure tonal range and formidable projection. Check them out here. 

Musical Mondays – Tongue Drum

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A new weekly series showcasing a different instrument available in-store and online 🎵

This week: Mike and Franky play the tongue drum – a small acoustic drum (also known as a contemporary West African log drum). Easy for anyone to play this drum produces a warm melodic sound.

Program in focus: Kalari (Good Vibes 2019)

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Our brand new music & wellness retreat is making its debut in March and we’ve got a heavy itinerary planned! We sat down with Kalari master Ramona Lalita (Director, Kalari Healing) to get an insight into what guests can expect from the upcoming retreat:

 

Tell me about your background in Kalari? 

 I began studying Kalari Healing and Kalaripayattu Martial Arts in 2009 in Australia. A year later I visited my teacher and Guru, Sat Guru Hanuman Das, the founder of the Kalariyil Dharmikam Ashram in Kerala and I return to India every year to study and deepen my training and skills. Since 2009 I have been practising and sharing the Kalari Healing and Martial Art systems in different parts of the world, and am now based in Melbourne. I have been training both the healing and martial aspects of Kalari, and thoroughly enjoy each and every part of the practice. I continue to hold workshops and classes and I work in clinics to share and spread the teachings. I am also a naturopath and I combine both the ancient and western practices together in my classes and consultations. My aim has always been to grow spiritually and physically, and contribute to others wellness, while building a strong foundation in the basics of the healing and martial arts. Kalari’s multimodal system helps me delve into ancient spiritual technologies, utilising them in a way that helps me understand myself and others. I am a firm believer that when using Kalari methods, one can synergize the body, mind and spirit.

 

What attracted you to Kalari, martial arts and eastern practices?

I believe I always had a fighting spirit since a young age. I was first interested in self defence as a traveller especially as I have always been interested in more dangerous and remote places in the world. I studied Taekwondo in Singapore, Karate in Japan and Capoeira in Brazil. All the martial practices including Kalaripayattu from India are based on discipline and integrity to one’s inner and outer worlds, health and wellness, and social responsibility. They all encompass spiritual learning practices along with weapons and body training. I resonate with this and the way that martial arts and healing has allowed me to grow and develop. I was drawn to Kalari as it is unique and whole and it encompasses many aspects of training – discipline, healing, herbs, medicines, massage, spirituality, body forms, weapons, flexibility, meditation, yoga and most importantly the connection to teacher and Guru. I have learnt through my dedication to Kalari practices that I can manifest and create inner harmony and happiness. 

 
What are you planning to focus on primarily with your students at Good Vibes?

We will be focusing on discipline and focus in the body and mind through Kalari movement. I would like to give students a taste of Kalaripayattu training, and assist them in aligning their bodies in the class, while shaking off any tension and tightness.  We will be practising warm up exercises to open the energy channels, developing a greater connection to the core and earth, along with training our traditional first form which is a salutation to 4 directions and very similar to a martial sun salutation. I hope they will be able to add this to their movement practice tool kit.
 
 
How do you see the relationship between Kalari and drumming?

Kalari is about movement, body alignment and vibrations, so I see a very big connection between both practices. They both require body coordination and movement of the creative spirit through the core energy and they help engage the whole body and connect with nature, the community and our surroundings. In both Kalari and drumming we are developing our hand-eye coordination and so each practice helps the other. I play a Pandeiro (Brazilian hand drum) and I find that my flexibility and strength training in Kalari has improved my ability to endure long songs and shows, and my speed and precision in my playing and ability to focus has greatly improved. 

 

What do you want your students to take away from your teachings at Good Vibes?

 

I would like the students to be able to take a piece of Kalari home with them and be able to utilise the practices for their drumming and in other aspects of their lives. Ideally if they can learn some of the movements they will be able to use them as a warm up or body/mind balancing activity, before or after they play. Kalari is an embodied practice that utilises core principles such as discipline, integrity and respect and sharing these is a part of how I believe we can make a change within ourselves, and to others, and to come closer to our peaceful nature and contribute to society and the environment.

 

Itinerary

Communal jams

Drumming for all levels, beginners, intermediates and advanced

Meditation

Yoga

Body Percussion

Kalari (Indian Martial Art)

Bonfires

Guided walks

When:

March 1st – 3rd 2019

Where:

Sokil Eco Retreat, Great Otway National Park

Tickets

Only a few more sleeps till Ghana!

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Only a few more sleeps until our annual trip to Ghana, and we can’t wait! It’s our 14th tour this year and we’re excited to see old friends, each with a unique story to tell. One of our beloved past times in Ghana is visiting our favourite drum makers and watching them work, joining in the traditional song and dance. It’s such a lively community of artists, musicians and creatives and we’re looking forward to immersing ourselves in the culture once again. Watch this space for photos & videos of our 2018/19 summer in Ghana.

Location: Accra and Volta Region, Ghana West Africa

Dates: December 30th 2018 – January 26th 2019

Come join us!

What to expect: Good Vibes Music & Wellness Retreat 2019

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Our brand new music & wellness retreat is making its debut in March next year and we’ve got a heavy itinerary planned! We sat down with Good Vibes director Simon Fraser to get an insight into what guests can expect from the upcoming retreat:

Where did the concept of Good Vibes come from?

It’s been brewing for many years and it brings all my favourite things together! Drumming is obviously a long held passion, and so is Yoga …..I’ve also been inspired too through my wife Carla’s work and her knowledge of Eastern practices. She introduced me to the amazing Ramona who is presenting on the weekend. So in essence, we decided to hand pick an awesome group of inspiring facilitators for our first Good Vibes.

What made you choose the Great Otway National Park for the retreat?

Sokil is a special place. We are in deep bushland surrounded by animals and no neighbours. It’s a pure nature escape at a venue we have used for many years. There is something raw and lush about Sokil and it compliments our ethos of finding natural harmony and balance.

Can guests from any drumming/yoga/kalari background join?

Everyone is welcome! All levels, all backgrounds. We feel like the different activities (drumming/yoga/meditation/kalari) really compliment one another. All our Good Vibes teachers have alignment in their philosophies around movement and energy. It all starts from the ground up and we will be working towards harnessing our bodies pure kinetic potential in conjunction with mind and soul.

What do you want people to take away from the retreat?

We expect that people will find internal balance and a sense of groundedness at Good Vibes….Plus new connections and a little bit of serendipity.
We use this opportunity to embrace the nature force of the bush we are surrounded by and immerse ourselves in a series of wonderful workshops that will lift the spirit.

What are you most looking forward to at this retreat?

Meeting new people who are ready to open themselves to self discovery and experiencing how this exciting blend of modalities weaves its unique magic through the group. This is the first Good Vibes retreat so one really knows where we will find ourselves – it’s exciting!

Itinerary

Communal jams

Drumming for all levels, beginners, intermediates and advanced

Meditation

Yoga

Body Percussion

Kalari (Indian Martial Art)

Bonfires

Guided walks

When:

March 1st – 3rd 2019

Where:

Sokil Eco Retreat, Great Otway National Park

Tickets

Bassidi Kone Master Class

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One of the globes hottest properties in Djembe, Bassidi Koné is joining us in August for an advanced level master class weekend. A few spots still left.
Inquiries to [email protected]

A special weekend Master Class for Advanced / Pro level drummers with Malian Djembefola BASSIDI KONE

Recognised as one of the world’s hottest djembe players right now, Bassidi will be challenging Advanced & Pro level players through an 8 hr intensive guaranteed to push your playing limits.
Bassidi will share his Griot knowledge and incredible djembe skills in this exploration of Malinke rhythms.
The Weekend is by invitation or expression of interest only and strictly for Adv/ Pro level players.

WHEN: Sat Aug 11 1.30 -6pm & Sun Aug 12th 1 -5pm
WHERE: African Drumming Headquarters, 252 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda
RATE $160 with $50 deposit due on booking to secure your place (Limited to 20pax)

African Drumming Kids Parties

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It was Hamish’s birthday last weekend. All he wanted was a drumming party and a djembe … well his cool Mum Emily made it all happen – that’s one happy Djembefola right there!

Be sure not to miss out on our amazing African Drumming kids parties, you can find out more about the packages we offer here.

Melbourne Walk against Family Violence

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African Drumming is proud to have led the Melbourne Walk against Family Violence through the city – a great turn out for a great cause.

On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia. We all need to unite to help eliminate this heinous crime and to support those whose lives have been affected.

Tribalism – 16th of December

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The summer edition of our legendary high voltage drum & dance event is moving outdoors to enjoy the sun while pumping non-stop tribal music guaranteed to make you dance.

This student performance event brings all of our classes from around Melbourne together to perform their ensembles’ traditional and contemporary West African rhythms.

This Tribalism will also celebrate our end of year jam – so BYO everything to make you happy – Food, drinks & friends!

Everyone is welcome!

Time: 2:30pm

Where: The Post Hotel St Kilda: 304-306 St Kilda Rd

 

Dream Big Ghana

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We’ve been supporting the great work of a Ghanaian NGO called Dream Big Ghana for a decade now. Recently they have really stepped up their diversity of projects in the local Volta Region communities. When we first started helping, it was directed to their awesome sanitation / toilet block building project, and now they have expanded into a Learning centre and Football academy.

Through the directive efforts of Dougal Croudace and the team at Meet Me There African Home Lodge and this years force of Josie Scott and Graeme Ramsey things are rollicking along in 2017. The local school is now receiving a new toilet block and the learning centre has two sets of drums (to keep the traditional music alive), books in several languages and even a few laptops!


We’ll be leading a group of 25 students right into the heart of this community in 7 weeks time and we can’t wait to help things grow just that little bit more with our physical support and funds raised via the African Drumming community !!

TRIBALISM – Dec 16th

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TRIBALISM – our favourite student performance event is back Dec 16th in Catani Gardens

Experience African Drumming’s legendary high voltage drum and dance event. The place will be pumping with non-stop tribal music guaranteed to make you dance. This student performance event brings all of our classes from around Melbourne together to perform their ensembles’ traditional and contemporary West African rhythms.

Come join the family drum fun – bring a picnic, all are welcome

When:
Saturday December 16th 2017
From @ 2:30pm

Where:
Catani Gardens,
Pier Road, St Kilda West Victoria 3182

Ghana djembe range

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We’ve been busy making drums all week down here in St Kilda …Bruno our drum maker is pumping out the good stuff …

check out some of his handy work on our Ghana djembe range which is well stocked – great value light weight, portable African djembes.

Find our Ghana djembe range here on our website!!

African Drumming Calendar 2018