From Hand To Hand:
The Wassa Kunba! Drumming Experience
Djembe Dunun Workshop Tour
*Wassa Kunba! - Malinké for Great Joy!
Wassa Kunba! Great Joy!
Through these amazing workshops, Fodé Camara and Helen Bond will share with everyone the great joy of traditional hand drumming from Guinea, West Africa. Improve your skills and experience Wassa Kunba! with these musicians.
Many people travel to Guinea but few go beyond the capital city of Conkary to study in the villages where the drummers are like a hidden treasure. This will be a unique opportunity to experience the rich artistic culture of remote village life in Guinea without traveling a great distance. You will hear the inspiring call of the djembe and learn the beautiful songs of the village djelli (oral historians). You’ll feel the powerful melodies of the dunun bass drums.
Come be a part of a joyful environment where we come together as a small village and enjoy the uplifting beauty of the traditional hand drumming ensemble. Whatever your background or experience level, take this unique opportunity to study this amazing music.
Fodé Camara is a musician, artist, storyteller and performer from Guinea, West Africa. He is a Guest Faculty member with Medusa’s Musical Mysteries and has been touring in the US and Canada for the past nine years participating in workshops and teaching traditional percussion music from his home country. Fodé is also a master drum maker who creates professional quality African hand drums using natural materials, including the goblet-shaped djembe and barrel-shaped dununs.
Fodé offers unique and engaging classes, presentations and performances for people of all ages in which he discusses his culture and traditions and his reflections on the benefits and challenges of growing up in West Africa. As a teacher, he has an embracing, easy going, and friendly manner that invites everyone to experience and participate in the traditional music and songs of Guinea. Fodé has shared his experience, talents and warm smile and laughter with children and adults through presentations at many schools, community and cultural centers over the years.
He offers presentations and his life stories through Motherland Rhythm Community, a 501c3 non-profit organization focused on creating community and connecting cultures through hand drumming. Fodé is also a project liaison for Benkadi Project which offers charitable assistance to address education, health and basic human needs in Guinea, and a member of Diamana Diya and Mboray Nani performance ensembles.
Fodé loves to see the happiness and joy on participants faces as they experience playing the drums. He says, "music helps us in our lives to forget our problems; it creates friendships and heals us. It brings everyone together no matter where they are from."
From Hand to Hand
The Wassa Kunba! teaching system involves intensive study each day and ensures that you will leave with everything you will need to study and perform a complete rhythm.
You’ll learn the basic rhythms on the three dununs and the djembe accompaniment parts. You will also learn echauffements (the patterns that heat up the song), djembe solo techniques, introductions and breaks, dunun variations and even songs that accompany the rhythms in the village. You’ll learn the origins of each rhythm, receive expert instruction on all instruments in the traditional djembe orchestra and deepen your understanding of the place of music, dance and song in West African life. Fodé and Helen are able to work simultaneously with students of all levels - beginner to professional. All levels are welcome! Finally, each workshop includes a set-aside time during which all of the drum parts are played so that students can have a clean recording of the material.
Past Guinean Guest Faculty
We are thrilled to be able to give our ongoing students the experience of playing with other artists visiting from Guinea. In the past, we have organized North American tours for Fodé Camara, Nansady Keita, and Famoudou Konate. The music from Guinea is compelling and a part of daily life. Participating in our programs with our Guest Faculty is a unique opportunity to study with a musician from that culture.