Keeping in line with Earth Day and our ongoing sustainability initiative, we’ve partnered with two different tree planting initiatives in Ghana and Indonesia.
In Ghana, our joint venture with registered NGO Denyigba Lorlor involves reforesting hardwood mahogany: for every African drum we sell, we plant and nurture a new hardwood tree.
Our Indonesia partnership is with the East-Java Plant a Tree Program: 5% of revenues from our Indo djembes will be donated to this foundation.
Narelle came all the way from NSW on recommendation from her drum circle group and teacher, braving the Melbourne heat to pick out a drum to suit her. She ended up choosing a beautiful second grade djembe from Ghana. Thanks Narelle!
Our second grade djembes can be viewed here
A new weekly series showcasing a different instrument available in-store and online
This week: Simone and Mike play the small djembe cajon (Simone on the left) and the classic cajon (Mike on the right) – A cajon drum is a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front face with the hands.
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.
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.
For over ten years we’ve been working with the team at Counterpart – supporting woman with breast cancer through the power of African Drumming. We love our annual visit and always come away uplifted by the happy faces.
Here’s some more research on the benefits
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.
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!!
” For me, the djembe addiction took hold in my early twenties. Coming from a classical piano background, djembe was everything piano wasn’t! I still dearly love sitting down and cracking out a Bach prelude but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of playing djembe and being part of a whole community of drummers who share a love for West African rhythms.
I’ve had wonderful teachers along the way – both locally and in Africa – and I’m privileged to work closely with Bangourake who has been so generous in sharing the music and culture of his people with the local drum and dance scene here in Canberra. Yes, behind the grey suits we actually have a thriving community of drum and dance students here!
I discovered early in my ‘djembe journey’ that teaching is what I enjoy the most and is where I can make the most difference. There’s nothing I like to see more than adults, who never had the chance to learn an instrument as a child or claim not to have a musical bone in their body, suddenly engaging regularly in music education and enjoying connecting with others through music. Joining a djembe class really can be life-changing for people. I can’t think of another instrument that has the same power!
Now I just have to hope my two young sons catch the bug and want to play dundun for Mummy! 😉“
“My drumming tourney harks back 4 years ago when my musical wife gave me a voucher for 6 lessons. Lo and behold she created a monster!
Little did she know that my practising would overwhelm her music ever practice. My neighbours even tell me they know when my wife is away when they here me drumming. The benefits of drumming are well known when discussing mental health.
However the spirit of support and camaraderie of the drumming community also plays a tremendous role. Every class where I play instantly transports me away from the trials and tribulations of the business day, and deeply in the circle of rhythms and beats of my drumming group. Of course this is great fun, with regular performances are exciting and entertaining, especially for the drummers.
The more I play the more I recognise there is to learn.
I now have a way to express the music I feel inside.
Now off to practice more as my neighbours do not need too much sleep. ?
Thanks to all my teachers and drumming buddies for all the encouragement”
“Since I was young I have always had a love of music, it didn’t matter what type of music it was. At school I always did music class and learned how to play guitar & trumpet ( but not very well !! ) but I always found myself tapping along to the drum beat, whether it was on the table or empty ice cream containers.
About 8 years ago I went into a deep depression & suffered severe anxiety and panic attacks, my love for everything including music disappeared. After months of slowly getting back on my feet, the love of music slowly returned. One day, while on FB, just scrolling through posts I came across one of my nieces – Jessica May – playing a drum ( which I now know was a djembe) I think I watched the same performance of her everyday, I was hooked.
After speaking with Jess she informed me of a beginners class in Hampton park, although still anxious I convinced myself, with a lot of encouragement from my wife, I attended the class, from the first time I hit the Djembe I felt a feeling that I had never felt before – it was like I had finally found something that brought a smile and excitement to me.
For once in a very long time I knew it was something I wanted to continue & challenge myself. Not only did I love it but I also made and continue to make new friends. It has been just over a year since I played my first Djembe and am enjoying it more & more, now even my wife has starting playing”
“For me the djembe is a powerful entity for humans to channel great energy and to transmit this energy in a joyous and spiritual way. Key aspects of the djembe and its culture for me are; The joy it transmits, The meditative aspect of drumming, The community and union that is created through playing the djembe which incompasses any gathering of people for any reason where listeners dancers and players all come toghether to share the vibration.
The healing benefits of playing, The death of ego that must occur to go deeper into the music, The connection to the natural world, The fact that it makes me feel great. I feel the djembe has 3 and in most cases 4 spirits.
1) the spirit of the animal that lived in the skin
2) the spirit of the tree that the drum is made from,
3)the spirit of the person that made it
4) the spirit of the peron who repairs the skin/drum when needed.
I am a woodworker/artisan and beleive the carving is important but most of all its the intention that goes behind the making and carving and reskinning. Why not try blessing and thanking the skin and when soaking it in water why not with energy crystals such as amber or amethyst, quartz etc.
Rather than boring you with my own story and history of drumming i would like to encourage you to go deeper with your drumming. Meditate with your drum, talk to it give it a name, realise that the music isn´t all you its the djembe and the others playing and the energy you are channeling and transmiting. Be conscious of breath and posture, push through pain with joy, give good energy when drumming , drum from your soul not your head. Play with as many people and in as many situations as possible, learn by your drumming experiences and allow drumming to vitalize your life. Try to drum where there is dance or all in a circle or with fire present or with singing so the energy builds.
I currently live in Tasman near Nelson( South Island, New Zealand) and shall be making and repairing drums and running some workshops soon around expressing and healing yourself with drumming and also workshops on the meditative side of drumming, connecting to power animals and the natural world namely, the 5 elements.
I am blessed to be around other great drummers and dancers here in nelson and would like to promote them and their work too, they are Kimberley Anderson , Rob De Leeuw Miro Klima and Annika Wagenhoff. Happy drumming, Ross
” Every time a drum sounds, the world pulsates, a child is born , joy erupts, pain is felt….a heart beats’..
I heard this 20 years ago when I began my drumming journey. It resonated with me and meeting Simon and travelling to Ghana with him changed my life. I loved being immersed in the culture and the music , made many lifelong friends and the Djembe and Douns became family.
This trip led to several more to Ghana where I travelled with World Vision, and eventually lived there for 14 months . I taught carers Early Childhood practices and received a grant from UNICEF to produce a series of 40 teaching videos for a large orphanage .
But it was the music, the drums, the dance that filled my heart and soul.. the teachers, Adama and Madou, But in particular Simon who allowed me to feel safe and supported in this environment. His tours are amazing.
I have since used the drums as a teaching opportunity and experience in my Early Learning Schools. I will be forever grateful for the journey. .. as the Africans named me.. Blessings. Mama Lynn”
“The first time I saw African drumming was at a workshop at Rainbow Serpent festival ten years ago. I’d never seen anything like it and instantly wanted to learn, thinking wow, wouldn’t it be great to play in a band at festivals, never dreaming that two years later that’s exactly what I’d be doing!
Six weeks later and I was having lessons on djembe and decided nine months after that to travel to Ghana in West Africa to do a four week study intensive. That is where I had my first lesson on duns and immediately knew we belonged together ?
For eight years now my band Rhythm Arkadia has been playing at festivals all over Victoria and what a magical and exciting journey it has been. Never having had a creative outlet before then, drumming has put me in touch with my soul, spirituality and community, something I had never realised was lacking in my life ? I now own crystal and Tibetan singing bowls and offer intuitive sound healing collaborations.
If you are feeling the call to the drum, follow it, it will lead you to amazing places ❤
Thank you Simon for being such an inspiration and my favourite teacher”
“My first exposure to traditional African drumming was in 1983 when C.K. Ladzepko was touring around Australia. Since then I have I integrated it into my own community drumming and dance group Wild Moves on the Surf Coast. This photo was taken at Seven Sisters Festival where I have been involved in creating the Opening or closing ceremonies using djembes for the past 5 years.
Djembes are a part of the primary arts and early childhood education at Deakin University where I have been lecturing for the past 26 years.
Currently I am studying Ethnochoreology at Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Ireland and naturally the djembe is part of my thesis on Sensory Embodiment.
Playing djembe immediately earths my body and helps to keep me grounded, rooting my energy to the Earth.
Playing in a drum circle always connects my heart to others creating a feeling of unity and One Spirit, One Family to ground Peace on our Planet”
” My first experience of drumming was as a young child in India where I attended Mridungam lessons. I never really took these very seriously, but those classes must have left a deep impression on me. In university I was part of a blues/rock band, and our drummer Sylvester encouraged me to have a go on the drum kit.
It was love at first bash. I soon after began having lessons from an amazing teacher, an old school jazz drummer. My first experience of West African drumming was attending a full moon drum circle in Auckland. I remember being blown away by the sounds people were able to achieve with these single skin drums, and being frustrated with my own inability to play Expressively like the people around me.
Thus began my fun and somewhat obsessive journey into rhythms, breaks and the never ending struggle to achieve perfect technique. These days I attend weekly classes in Wellington, as well as play with our local performance group Kubatana, both on djembe and dunduns. I still have nights dreaming about getting that perfect slap and tone”
” The first time i heard a djembe player was one of my best days of my life, he said: “I play with Africans, come and join us”
My eyes started shining, I was so excited to meet these guys and since then my life changed. Later on I met Seydou Dao from Burkina Faso that literally made me cry for how great he was.
That day I fell in love with African music!