Sunu Jams, and other exercises for handing and timing
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
3M ago
Do you know the feeling of a rhythm that knows you so well it always shows itself when you sit down to play? So you can’t shake it, as if it doesn’t want to let you go. You might call it your song. At least until the next one comes along. Lately (like, the last […] The post Sunu Jams, and other exercises for handing and timing appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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Latin Meets African
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
4M ago
At a weekly market in San Pancho, Mexico (a small town up the coast from Puerto Vallarta), a musical trio called Caravan provided the live entertainment for the day. A talented flamenco-style guitarist, a versatile female singer, and a conga player. The drummer had an improvised kit of sorts, as he sat on a cajon, […] The post Latin Meets African appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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Candomble and the Parade of Lost Souls
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
8M ago
This past Halloween, the samba band I play with, Samba du Soleil, got to take part in the annual Parade of Lost Souls event in Vancouver. We were stationed at the entrance gate to open the festivities, playing for half an hour before the city’s own Carnival Band came marching up with horns blaring and […] The post Candomble and the Parade of Lost Souls appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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How to Get Into a Jam
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
1y ago
The following excerpt from Flutes Jam: A Guide to Improvisation addresses issues that apply to group music in any context, whether playing a drum or flute or other instrument. It could apply as well to the daily performance (or jam) we call life. How to Get into a Jam: Four Stages of Personal Evolution Unconscious self-absorption Not […] The post How to Get Into a Jam appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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Reunion and the Hindu Scale
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
1y ago
The following exploration is an excerpt from Flutes Jam: A Guide to Improvisation. In this section I compare the rhythmic pattern for the Brazilian rhythm Reunion, with the intervals for the Hindu scale I’ve been enjoying on flute.  At the last samba practice, the band leader called for the “Six Eight” rhythm. Lately we’ve been learning an […] The post Reunion and the Hindu Scale appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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Samba Kitten and the Rainbow Egg
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
1y ago
A few weeks ago I welcomed a new member of the household, a sixth-generation African kitten, named Phoenix Brightstar. She has been, according to her mood, cuddly and affectionate, or wild and playful. Adding to her ever-growing assortment of toys and playthings, I introduced a wooden, rainbow-colored shaker egg: good for keeping time to a […] The post Samba Kitten and the Rainbow Egg appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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Walking to the Beat of Your Own Inner Drummer
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
1y ago
On a recent long walk, as often happens, a persistent rhythm took shape in my consciousness and stuck, riding along with my steady stride. Which is not to say it was rigidly confined to an arbitrary 4/4 or 12/8 measure. Rather, only after I started thinking about it, did it lend itself to such possibility. […] The post Walking to the Beat of Your Own Inner Drummer appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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Drumming and Protest
Djembe Rhythms from West Africa Blog
by Nowick Gray
1y ago
As a fledgling drummer and burning out environmental activist back in the ‘90s, I was happy to support the watershed logging protest camp at Hasty Creek with some conga beats by the campfire. Everyone has a role. Politics gets tiresomely verbal, and dangerously serious; yet those who stand must speak… so what better medium than […] The post Drumming and Protest appeared first on Djembe Rhythms from West Africa ..read more
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