Talking Drums of Africa and its Diaspora with Urban Griots Playground

A family-friendly drumming and poetry workshop for parents and children (ages 3 and up).

Session will be divided in 2 parts:

1) Introducing specific hand techniques/patterns in order to learn how to create the specific sounds ( Bass, Tone and Slap) on a hand drum. In Africa and its diaspora, traditional drumming is an extension of speech. Students will learn the basics that will help them to communicate properly while drumming.

2) Participants will be invited to learn specific traditional drum texts from Cameroon, Ghana, and Togo. In addition to the music, students will be introduced to the history and socio/cultural context in which those drum language texts are usually played.

Participants should bring their own instruments (Djembe or Congas should be fine).

Pierre Tchetgen (PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley) is a poet, musician and co-founder of Music Is Healing, a Mt Shasta-based collective of artists, healers and educators. A recording artist and producer, His book/CD of poetry, Dirges of Becoming, was accepted as a Creative Thesis for the Masters of Arts Program in Humanities (MAPH) at the University of Chicago (2003), and has since then been performed at conferences, concerts, spoken word venues and festivals nationwide. He regularly offers voice, rhythm and movement workshops around the country.