*Due to covid restrictions, we had to postpone our spring retreat.
Stay tuned for a summer retreat announcement 🌞
Next spring retreat: October 1st – 3rd 2021
Great line up of teachers in a pristine location. Workshops for all levels, communal Bonfire Jams, and great vibes! Navigate using the tabs below.

Our 2020 Spring Drum Retreat offers drum classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels with a variety of awesome teachers.
Bassidi Kone (Mali), Boubacar Gaye (Senegal) , Mohamed Camera (Guinea) and Simon Fraser (Aus) headlining this year!

Learning in this environment will do wonders for your drumming: the djembe always repays the time you invest in it. A weekend of drumming will challenge you in terms of stamina and retention, as well as the content you tackle. You’ll actually notice the difference in your playing most after the event – the flow given by training muscle memory and the tuning of your ear to an immersion in the music will show the few days after.

Jacqui Dressens is back with her infectious dance sessions. Jacqui’s Sat arvo session will really get you sweating and we will work up a super cool trad choreography for our Sunday concert.

“Just wanted to say what a great weekend Crystal and I enjoyed. What a fantastic group of people. Across the board from Masters to Beginners we found everybody to be so pleasant. Also the teachers that I encountered were fantastic. Laura is so amazing at teaching and explaining clearly. We learnt so much from all including yourself. Once again thank you for all you did to make the weekend successful and amazing. Cheers.” – Cliff Strobel

It’s going to be a Choca Block schedule!

Stay tuned for tweaks to the schedule below

Friday night – optional ($40)
5pm: Let the music begin – chill jam
Bonfire Jam

9.00am……. Registration
10.00 – 10.30
Opening Ceremony with special guest
10.45 – 12.30pm
Beginners Djembe w Laura
Intermediate Djembe w Mohamed
Advanced Djembe w Bassidi
1.45 – 3.15pm
Beginners Djembe with Laura
Intermediate Dun with Mohamed
Advanced Djembe Class with Bouba
3.30 – 5pm
Beginners Djembe with Mohamed
Intermediate Djembe w Bassidi
Advanced Dun with Bouba
5.30 -6.30pm
Dance Class with Jacqui D and live drumming (take your pick!)
8pm: All Stars Live show with Dun Teke & Teachers
9pm: Bonfire Jam with SPECIAL Fire dance led by Jacqui

9.30 – 10.15am
All in Warm Up with Simon Fraser – get those hands moving!
10.30 – 12.30pm
Beginners Djembe/ Dun with Laura
Intermediate Djembe w Bouba
Advanced Djembe with Bassidi
1.45 – 3.15pm
Beginners Djembe with Mohamed
Inters Djembe with Bassidi
Advanced Djembe/ Dun Class with Bouba
3.30 – 4pm Final Group Show/ Jam


Set in a peaceful valley, we’ll be completely surrounded by the pristine Great Otway National Park. At 90 minutes out of Melbourne, it’s far enough to feel like a real getaway, but still an easy journey by car.

– Comfortable bunk-style log cabins
– Camp sites or campervan parking available if preferred (same rate as normal accommodation)
– Big communal kitchen with utensils and cutlery
– Large performance hall with a fireplace
– Bonfire area

Sokil – 90 minutes from Melbourne
425 Breakfast Creek Road
Melways Ref: 611 C10

425 Breakfast Creek Road
Melways Ref: 611 C10

From Melbourne (aprox 90 mins)

Take the M1 heading West
Bypassing Geelong, this becomes the A1 (Princes Hwy)
Turn Left onto Cape Otway Rd
Continue through Moriac and Modewarre
Turn left at Wensleydale Station Rd. Wurdiboluc Reservoir will be on your right
Continue approximately 7kms, until the road turns to gravel
At the intersection, follow the road straight into the Great Otway National Park (do not turn left here into Gum flats road)
Continue on the gravel road, past Alsop Track
Turn left onto Breakfast Creek Rd (do not turn right onto Hammonds Track)
Continue 3.5km into the valley
Sokil’s gate is on the left – just over the small bridge!


Payable in cash on the weekend

We can easily put together a discount for families or large groups – please call or email us for details. Non-drumming friends and family are very welcome

Tuition & Saturday Accommodation……$250/$220 (concession)
Friday Night Accommodation……………….. $40
Standard Day Rate……………………………….. $140/$120 (concession)
Non – Drummers weekend (includes Sat night).. $120/$110 (concession)
Non Accommodation full weekend (for people staying offsite) $210/$180 (concession)

Non – Drummers day……………………………. $40
Drum Hire (booking required)……………….. $10

What should I bring?
A drum if you have one – if not you can hire one for $10
A comfy drum stool if you are particular (Sokil has loads of plastic chairs which are also fine)
BYO food/drinks (Sokil has a large commercial kitchen with ovens, microwaves, glasses & cutlery etc)
Shoes to dance in
Sleeping bag / extra blanket  (All beds have sheets and pillows with pillow cases supplied)
Warm clothes
Sun Hat

Can I bring a campervan or sleep in my tent? – Yes, you are welcome to do either and make use of all the amenities at Sokil. There are several great areas for camping and to park your vehicle. Pricing is the same for camping/campervan as it is if you are using a bed.

What kind of rooms/bed options are there? – All rooms are bunk bed style rooms. There are 8 rooms with 4 bunks (8 beds).
We can arrange private room for groups of 6 or more, and occasionally family groups (depending on Camp numbers)
We will generally allocate rooms to you all and keep men/ woman and families together.

I’m an absolute beginner, can I come along?
Sure! We welcome beginners and our sessions will suit you. It’s a great chance to mingle with those who have been drumming longer and pick up tips and tricks from peers

What’s the address?
425 Breakfast Creek Road
Melways Ref: 611 C10

Meet the teachers…

Bassidi Kone


Bassidi is of Bwa ethnicity from the Segou region in Mali. Born into a Griot family, Bassidi grew up beside his father’s bala (the balafon, a traditional wooden xylophone), instilling in him, his forefather’s traditional village rhythms and songs. From a young age, Bassidi carried on his family’s musical heritage, showing promising skill in both the bala and djembe. After moving to Bamako at thirteen, Bassidi met Koninba Bagayogo, a meeting that profoundly influenced his musical career as a percussionist. Playing alongside this master djembe player, the young Bassidi extended his knowledge and skill, distinguishing himself through his innovating solo lead playing and technical virtuosity. Driven to defend his rich Bwa ethnicity, Bassidi formed his multi-instrumental percussion and dance troupe, Bwazan (‘Bwa children’) in 2005; a family group of brothers, sisters and cousins from the same line of Griots. Today, Bwazan are ambassadors of their musical heritage, promoting a message of peace, freedom, humility and solidarity.

Simon Fraser


Simon has been drumming his heart out all his life. Starting with plastic drum-kits and pots n pans as a kid and then graduating to a drum kit, he’s played many styles of music and found his passion in West African rhythms. Annual trips to West Africa since the mid 1990’s have seen him collaborate with some of the regions’ great percussionists. Simon returns to the region every year in search of new music, running a Tour to Africa. His love and knowledge of rhythm translates to his teaching where he focuses on tapping into your creativity, dexterity, honoring tradition and having fun.

Boubacar Gaye


Bouba first laid his hands on a drum in Senegal at the budding age of 14. Inspired by the musical mentors around him he became a member of the infamous Mama Afrika. Under the guidance of ballet professor Joseph-Raphael Bouschanzl, Bouba’s skills and passion grew quickly and soon he was also a member of the renowned Foret Sacre Ballet. In 1997 Bouba ventured to Europe and then onto Japan where he established himself as a leading African percussionists. With an energy and peace of mind that resonates from deep within – Bouba speaks a thousand words with his drum.

Mohamed Camara


Mohamed Camara has been performing and teaching traditional Guinean percussion for over a decade. Former djembe soloist for internationally-renowned Guinean ensembles Ballet Destin, Ballet Bolonta and Les Sorciers de Guinée, Mohamed has studied and performed with master drummers Aliou Sylla, Fadouba Oularé, and Miriam Makeba’s percussionist Papa Kouyaté.

Jacqui Dressens

Dance Teacher

Jacqui is a community arts practitioner in choreography lecturing at Deakin University in Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Arts Education. She has extensively studied dance styles of the African Diaspora over the past 25 years with a plethora of artists notably, Janette Lydel (Caribbean), Jean Paul Wobatai (Congo/France), Patrice Lamumba (Congo), Sheela Langaburg (Tanzania), Patrick Motjale (Sth Africa), Germaine Acogny (Senegal), Agoro Theatre Company (Ghana), Ana Soares (Brazil) and Christina Monneron (Cuba). Performing with Adzohu (Chris Lesser), Sambole Ballet de Congo, African Royal Drummers, Kotoko Ma (Kojo Owusu), Larry Malumba, Thula Sana (Joe Malatji) and Musika Waraka (Joe Passie). Jacqui’s company Wild Moves was founded in 1994 and is her dedication to Mother Africa and all the mentors who have shared their cultural wisdom and influences on her own Afro-Surf Coast style.


Please book in early to ensure your spot!
Family and group rates are available – please ask us for more info

[email protected]
(03) 9525 3073

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