Our Story

Rhythm Culture takes you on an exciting journey through rhythm, movement and song. African drumming classes include studies on various instruments that complete an entire ensemble. Learn djembe, dundun, dance, song, and culture in these unique African drumming and dancing classes, school programs, Festival and Fete workshops, corporate, disability and youth workshops. Rhythm Culture holds regular one and two day Drum and Dance intensives featuring international African artists. Rhythm Culture stocks a wide range of West African instruments. Authentic African drums are assembled and individually crafted by Rhythm Culture with Australian skin. For interactive workshops, classes, quality and affordable authentic instruments.

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Our Artists

our artists our storyNathaniel Combs

Nathaniel Combs was born in a tiny town called Waikiri in the South Island of New Zealand. At seven years of age Nathaniel began playing percussion, starting out on drum kit and then moving to West African music after being inspired by Epizo Bangoura. In 2002 Nathaniel moved to Melbourne, Australia. Under the tuition of several teachers he became deeply inspired by West African music. He developed strong friends through rhythm, most notably with Nick Ralph and Simon Lewis.  In 2004 Nathaniel travelled to Conakry, Guinee in West Africa. Here, he played with world famous ensembles like Les Percussion de Guinea, Les Visage de Guinee, and the prestigious Kaloum Lole. After six months and as many splits and blisters, Nathaniel was dreaming walking and living rhythm! Returning from Africa, Nathaniel completed a masters class with Mamady Keita and became actively involved with a number of artists and their groups both traditional and contemporary. These included King Marong and Lamine Sonko from Asiko, One Africa and Afro Mandiko, Neda Ramani from Tumbarumba, Salvadore Persico from Blue King Brown, Barawato with Ousmann Sonko, Wassawumba with Mitzi Mcrae and Simon Lewis, Boubacar Gaye, Mady Keita, Aliou Sylla, Nick Rowe Band, Nathan Kaye, Bassidi Kone, Amadou Kaissa, Pataphysics, Combo La Revelacion, Morph Music, Le Phat, and currently the Hayden Hack Infusion. Since then, Nathaniel has been teaching and facilitating drumming workshops nationally and internationally, performing at major festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival and actively playing music for local communities in performance groups such as Wongai and Wassawumba and Rhythm Culture’s Dance Co-op. Please contact Nathaniel for workshops, classes, performance, drum sales and team building . See a more detailed list of Nathaniel’s previous workshops and performances.

Bec Mountbec dance

Bec is the Program Coordinator of Rhythm Culture, teaches West African dance workshops, classes and also plays Dundun and Djembe support for workshops and performances.  Please contact Bec for bookings, enquiries, quotes and workshop coordination.

adama bemac

Adama Doumbouya

Adama Doumbouya is a Master Djembe player from Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), West Africa.

Born in Abidjan, Adama grew up in Kankan village in Guinea, where he was taught to make and play Djembe in the traditional style of the Mandinka people from his Father. At the age of 15, he became a member of the Ivory Coast National Ballet, in Abidjan, where he studied, taught and performed traditional West African dances and percussion for 8 years: including djembe, dundun, stilt dancing and theatre. During this time he began to tour West Africa including Guinea, Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal.

For the last 12 years, Adama has toured internationally as the lead Djembe player of the Mother Africa Circus. He has performed throughout Europe, Middle East, South Pacific, United Kingdom and Australia. Adama enjoys bringing African energy and spirit to all of the audience members throughout the show. He is now settled in Brisbane with his lovely new wife and they are hoping to start a family in the near future.

Yenenesh Nigusse standrews39

Born in Ethiopia, I started dancing when I was eight and started teaching other adopted Ethiopian children as a way of sharing and showcasing the customs and traditions of Ethiopia. I have performed with many groups, including the Ethiopia Bahil Dance Group, Papasa, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, Bailalo Latino, Fab Fambool and many more. My dance expressions allow me to entertain, perform and educate various audiences at many events, functions and festivals showcasing my African culture. Some of these include Woodford Folk Festival, Latin American Festival, Brisbane Multicultural Festival, Queensland Multicultural Festival, Fraser Coast Festival, Mackay Blues and Roots Festival and many more.

To me “Dance is a language only your body can understand. It expresses what words cannot. Dance is about finding out who you are and once I am on the stage, I feel like my body is on fire and the rhythms of the drums allow me to be truly free…it is hard to express in words until you experience it for yourself. African music and dance is a sacred space where you can find your own unique rhythm and style”.

Bassidi KonéIMG_4994 

BASSIDI KONÉ (age 27) is a well renowned, versatile percussionist and balafon player of exceptional talent, who gives a skilled, authentic and dynamic voice to his instruments. Bassidi is of Bobo origin, whose family originates in a village near Segou, Mali, West Africa. Coming from a Griot family, Bassidi played music from the age of 5, taught to him by his father and grandfather. Living his childhood in Bamako, Mali, he was continually surrounded by music, playing at weddings, ceremonies and festivals. Bassidi started receiving recognition for his talents after entering a number of young talent competitions and quickly built his reputation as a percussionist, balafon and n’goni player. At the age of 20, in 2006, he formed his 10-piece ensemble, ‘Bwazan’ (“Bobo children” in the Bobo language), composed of mainly his brothers and cousins. Bassidi leads this group with passion and brotherly commitment. For this group of young brothers and relatives, Bwazan remains a day-to-day livelihood: a commitment to life itself and each other. They play songs and rhythms that have originated in Bobo village traditions, innovating and paying respect to the sound of their ancestors and teachers with their own arrangements and instrumentation. Complex and fast moves drive this ensemble of young, talented musicians who maintain the tradition of village masters. When in Mali, Bassidi also tours ands records professionally with a number of prominent musicians and singers, including Grammy Award nominee, Bassekou Kouyaté, Nainy Diabate, Mah Kouyate No 1, Nafi Diabate.

Performances in Recent Years: ‘The Meander Project’, Melbourne (2013), collaboration with students from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) ‘Festival sur le Niger’, Segou, Mali (2011 and 2012) ‘Triangle of Balafon: International Balafon Festival’, Sikasso, Mali (2011 and 2012) International Percussion Festival of Bamako, Mali (2010) ‘Festival of the Desert’, Toumbouctou, Mali, (2008).



Amadou is a professionally trained musician with over 20 years of experience. He was born in Guinea, West Africa where he studied the traditional rhythms of his culture, the Malinke people.

Whilst Kora (African Harp) was Amadou’s first love, the Djembe and Dun Duns soon followed. Amadou’s passion in music was fostered by his father, who for over 20 years was the lead Kora player in the world renowned group ‘Les Ballets Africains‘.

Amadou first picked up the Kora at age 10 and his skill and passion quickly developed. At 17 years of age, Amadou became a valued member of the 7 piece group ‘Les Petit Sorciers de Guinee’ as lead Dun Dun player. This vibrant group was headed by Papa Kouyate, who was the percussionist for Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa). Amadou began touring internationally with the group in 2002 and was chosen to go on his third European tour, performing beside the well-known Djembefola ‘Fadouba Oulare in 2006’.

Amadou’s dynamic nature brings out the fire in the Dun Dun and Djembe and elicits delicate transporting melodies on the Kora.

Experiencing Amadou’s Kora playing is a magical blend of technique and emotion that softly transports all on an ancient meandering journey back to Africa.

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