” I was first introduced by my girlfriend (now wife) Miriam – she asked if I wanted to come along to a practice session, and I was hooked!
For me, West African Percussion isn’t a musical style, it is a way of life. It is something that our modern society is missing – a fundamental core that permeates all facets of our lives. There are some elements of our culture that touch on how essential this idea is – start singing happy birthday, and everyone joins in, everyone knows the words. Imagine that feeling, that cohesion, throughout your life – when cooking, travelling, working, playing, grieving, laughing, loving. Western culture evolves so quickly and is so diluted by global influences, I am envious of the music that has existed for 700 years to accompany and define a continued way of life – where communities celebrate milestones in the bara, together, to the rhythm of life.
I am not only proud to play and teach this style of music, keeping the musical heritage alive in the world; my passion is to build functional pieces of art – beautiful djembes and dunun that bring joy to whomever plays them. In our disposable society, I strive to create heirlooms that will be played and cherished for generations. My legacy will be the drums I have built that are loved by their djembefola, the people I have touched with our performances, and the skills and knowledge I can give back to the drumming community to ensure that Mandingue music will live forever in our hearts.”