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African Music Explorer #002 - Back in Africa!
November 24, 2009

Finally! We're back in Africa! After five months in Switzerland it's just wonderful to be in Ghana again. The rainy season is over and it's getting very hot. But I'm glad I can escape Europe's cold and foggy November days.

It didn't take long to feel at home again in the quirky neighborhoods of Accra. But being back, I realize in what terrible musical shape I am: I haven't touched an instrument in months! What about you?

Instrument of the Month: The Djembe

When was the last time you played your drum? Been a while? Then let's get back in shape!
  • Repair cracks
    Kingy Mensah, the Ghanaian drum doctor, will show you how to
    fix those nasty wood cracks in your djembe shell.

  • Need a new djembe case?
    What's cooler than knowing the guy who made your djembe gear? Please meet Ras, your djembe case maker in Africa!

  • Learn a new rhythm
    Lamin Jassey, the Senegalese djembe instructor, will get you back into a drumming mood with a free video lesson! You can learn the Rhumba and its cross rhythm right at home:
    Just download your free lesson here and have fun!

  • Promote your own drum circle
    Many of my site visitors are interested in learning and playing. Are you a drum circle facilitator or do you teach African percussion? Then get featured on my site to give my visitors a chance to find you! Create your own full page here.

Artist of the Month: Miriam Makeba

This month, we are remembering a beautiful woman: Mama Africa passed away one year ago. She collapsed on stage during a concert in Italy on November 10th, 2008. She was 76 years old.

To honor her work, fans have started to share their favorite Miriam Makeba lyrics and videos. Why don't you join in and submit your own page?

Cause of the Month: Fight World Hunger

Miriam Makeba was a FAO Goodwill Ambassador since 2000 to fight hunger. She said:

"Think of what has been accomplished to date: space exploration; satellite communications; heart transplants. Today, we have managed to do what previous generations never dreamed of. But, you see, today, around the world, 840 million people still don't have enough to eat. And it doesn't have to be this way."

You can continue Miriam's fight for a world without hunger by supporting the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).

In the Next Issue

Have you ever heard of Ewe drumming? No?! Oh boy, you are missing out on one of West Africa's coolest drumming styles! But don't worry, next month you are going to find out all about it.

Until then, keep the music alive!

Helen from


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