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The Heart of African Drumming

Beginning to Advanced Workshops in African Drumming

African Drumming ClassExperience the fun and exhilaration of playing genuine West African rhythms on authentic jembe hand drums and dun-dun bass drums. Fonsiba will playfully guide you into the heart or essence of African drumming which has one fundamental purpose – to create energy and joy.

Unlike many musical instruments, jembe drums are easy to play. In just one workshop with Fonziba, people with little or no musical background can drum together and sound great. As people’s skills progress, Fonziba introduces everyone to playing the dun-dun bass drums as well.

Instead of one drummer playing complex rhythms on a drum set, Africans divide their intricate rhythms into simpler parts with different drummers playing each part. When all the parts are played together, you end up with what’s called an African polyrhythm, much like when all the orchestra parts are played together you end up with a symphony.

Because African polyrhythms are broken down into simpler parts, they are more accessible and easy to learn. They also create a wonderful sense of connection and community because everyone has to work together to create the polyrhythm. What’s more, the raw power of these rhythms being played by many drummers uplifts and energizes everyone.

Fonsiba offers workshops and classes in West African drumming for all levels of playing ability. She shares the energetics of drumming she learned while performing for weddings in Africa and from her many African drum teachers here in the United States. Her beginning classes focus on teaching easy, more generic, African polyrhythms, while her intermediate and advanced classes focus more on traditional rhythms of the Bambara people of southern Mali and the Malinke people of northern Guinea.



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