Resources

Djembe:

Djembefola.com - "an online community where you can learn how to be a better drummer." An enormous online resource!
Baile's African Drum Works - West African instrument seller and repair shop in Maryland. Excellent goat skins!

Drumskull Drums - one of the world's leading percussion shops rooted in the music of West Africa.
Goatskins.com - online retailer of djembes, skins, and more by Shorty Palmer.
In The Bush Records - music and culture from West Africa, by Rusty Eklund.
Happy Beat Drumming - djembe teaching and re-heading resource in High Point, North Carolina. They make my djembe rings!
Michael Pluznick - a longtime drummer and educator with a great website focused on drumming, World Music, and Multimedia.
WAP Pages - West African Percussion Pages: a great resource for rhythm information, transcription, and notation.


Kora:

Cora Connection - Vast online resource for the Kora and Manding Music.
Open To Source Sensors - small and amazing manufacturer of pick-up systems, including custom kora pick-ups!
Kumbengo Koras - Kora makers and online resource for kora music, kora accessories, repairs, and a directory of kora teachers in the USA.

Harald Loquenz's Jaliya V4 - Harald is an Austrian musician who created "Jaliya V4": brilliant software for learning kora and other Mande instruments.
Manding Songs and Traditions - an awesome site loaded with information on the kora, kora players, history, repertory, and more.
The Kora Workshop - a small UK company making and selling high quality machine head Koras.
Kora Kaëlig - a kora and kamelengoni luthier in France making top quality, modern instruments, some played by several notable Malian kora players.
BaraGnouma - a workshop situated in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) specializing in the manufacture and sale of traditional West African Instruments, including the Kora and Djembe.


Recommended Reading

Mande Music by ethnomusicologist and professor Eric Charry. The definitive book on the subject.
A Guide to the Jembe by Eric Charry. 4,118 words on the djembe to blow your mind.
Sidikiba's Kora Lesson - By ethnomusicologist Ryan Skinner, this award-winning children's book is the story of a child's encounter with a rich cultural heritage set in a modern African city
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Musicians and Bands to Know About:

Diali Keba Cissokho - Kora Master, djembe teacher, leader of the band Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba.
Toumani Diabaté - a true virtuoso and master of the art of the Kora, from Bamako, Mali.

Madya Diebate - Kora Master from Casamance, Senegal.
Thione Diop - a master of the djembe, sabar, tama, and djun djun descended from an ancestral line of Griot drummers in Senegal, West Africa.
Michael Spiro - an internationally recognized percussionist, recording artist, and educator, known specifically for his work in the Latin music field.
Rhythmicity -
a performance ensemble in the NC Triangle area that draws from the vibrant and dynamic rhythms of West Africa to connect and engage diverse audiences.
Paperhand Puppet Intervention - A puppet theater whose mission is to make work that inspires people, promotes social change, and is deeply satisfying for everyone involved.


Other Amazing Stuff:

Awesome Tapes from Africa - blog by ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz where you can listen to and download rare and amazing recordings from all over Africa.
Radio Africa - an extremely comprehensive website by Graeme Counsel focusing on discographies, records, and groups from West African, and specializing in Golden-Age Mande music.
MandeBala - an awesome web project by Todd Martin on the West African Bala and it's repertory. Very extensive!
Afropop Worldwide
- a radio program and online magazine dedicated to music from Africa and the African Diaspora.
Stories of AIDS -
Ten songs. Ten People. Ten stories of AIDS in Malawi. By Peter Mawanga and Andrew Finn Magill.
OkayAfrica - a multi-faceted hub capturing the spirit of the unprecedented boom in African youth culture.
MaliWeb - Online Malian news outlet in French.
DrumStrong - Organization whose drumming events raise awareness and funds for cancer organizations globally through family friendly rhythm gatherings.
The African Music Encyclopedia - exactly what it sounds like!


 

My Teachers