January -March 2016

Hi All

This post outlines the teaching sessions and plans I have for this term.

Firstly, my longest standing group Drummed Up will not be running this term. The main reason for this is that we were told a couple of days before Christmas that we had to leave our venue. We understood that there was a discussion about this but were a bit shocked and also disappointed to receive the news.

This did not leave much time to find a new venue – particularly in view of my trip to Bangladesh (see separate post).

When there is limited time I find it hard to get enough response back to ideas and plans that I post – people are busy and have other priorities – and so rather than take a risk in committing to a new, and more expensive venue I took the decision to take a break with this group for a term.

My ideal situation, which I hope to implement after Easter, is to reinvigorate Drummed Up by running a weekend workshop specifically on our performance set and hopefully attracting new members. We would then have weekly rehearsal sessions where we can practice the material with a view to performing at events in the Summer.

Meanwhile, my drumming class continues at Byker, Newcastle.

The new term starts Monday 1st February 6.45-9.30pm at Byker Community Centre, Headlam St, NE6 2DX. 8 weeks course £55 or free if on means tested benefits.

This group is now in its third year and has a very committed and enthusiastic core. New players are welcome to attend and we will likely have some Drummed Up students along too.

In light of this, I will be working with new material, recently taught by Hans Sutton at his workshop that I organised in Newcastle.

The rhythms originate from Mali and the feel is different to my much-loved Malinke Guinean material.

We will look at arrangements for Soboninkun and Sheko. We might also look at an arrangement of Sunun taught by Seckou Keita at the Generations Event in May 2015.

There are many similarities between Guinean and Malian styles but subtle differences too.

As always, the beauty of the material is that there are accessible parts and challenging parts for players of all levels.

I am keen for some more experienced players to have a go at the calls and leading the breaks for rhythms too.

Hope to see you along on 1st or 8th February to sign up for the course!


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