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Initiation of North American Drummers Into African Drumming Traditions

This entry discusses the experience of one drummer in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region of the United States who began playing congas. This experience led to an introduction to the djembe orchestra; travel and study in Guinea, West Africa (Conakry); an introduction to and completion of an initiation process; and the development/revitalization of an initiation process for American youth and adult drummers. He eventually reached the status of teacher, trainer, and djembefola (in Malinké, the word means “djembe player,” or literally, “one who plays the djembe”).

Role of Music and Drumming in African Cultural Expression

Music, in general, and drumming, in particular, occupy important roles in the cultural expression of African people on the continent as well as in the diaspora. Throughout the ...

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