Last weekend I took a break from classical music to check out the 3rd Annual Atlanta Drum And Dance Festival! The festival is a weekend of African drumming classes, African dance classes and concerts. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan (maybe it’s my Cameroonian heritage). AMP Clarinet Teaching Artist Bryan Crumpler and I participated in several Djembe classes.

At the beginning of the Atlanta Music Project classes in October 2010, the Atlanta Music Project students did a four-week African Drum and Dance workshop led by Atlanta’s own Manga African Dance. The workshop ended in style, with the students performing a great concert of drum and dancing from Guinea, Liberia and other West African nations. This workshop: teaches African history through music, dancing and story, builds a culture of community among our students, develops their internal rhythm and sense of moving naturally to music and gives them a chance to perform a concert as a group very quickly after AMP classes start. Below are some pictures from last weekend and last year’s African drum and dancing experiences:

Bryan and I take an Ivory Coast Djembe class with world-class Eric Bli Bi Gore (you’ll want to click on that preceding link…):

First ever AMP classes, rehearsing African drum and dance. From October 2010 at the Gilbert House:

AMP students during their 2010 African Drum and Dance concert: