Sunshine Coast meets Africa

The great thing about getting back from Africa is that… it’s never over…… we keep drumming and dancing and our work is our play and our play is our work. It never stops!!

Over the past few months, we have both been to Africa drumming and dancing with renowned teachers and musicians. Nathaniel was very lucky once again to learn Djembe, Balafon and N’goni with Bassidi and members from Bwazan in Mali, West Africa. Although the hours of the day were bursting with training sessions and Bwazan rehearsals right in the heart of Bamako, the nights were filled with phenomenal live music. Nathaniel witnessed griots (custodians of the musical and cultural heritage) entertaining and engaging with influential members of the community. He also visited the Festival sur la Niger in Segou. This very popular music festivals with the main stage floating in the Niger river is where Malian legends such as Habib Koite and Salif Keita perform. What an experience!!!

Bec visited Guinea – Conakry in West Africa to dance and was learning from Bountou Kouyate, a dancer from the renowned Merveilles Ballet. Training sessions consisted of 2 x 2 hour sessions per day with drummers from The Merveilles Ballet. To dance with these incredible musicians was beyond words and Bec managed to also sneak in a few drumming lessons too with Merveilles drummers and Solo Keita. An absolute highlight was receiving a djembe lesson with Famoudou Konate. What a humble, absolute joy of a man. A brief 1.5 hour session with Famoudou will remain the core of Africa for Bec. Unforgettable!!

Sunshine Coast Meets Africa – Camp Afro Foli – Yandina, Australia

These experiences and so many more that can not be summed up in words are what keep Rhythm Culture pumping with vibe and passion and of course this brings us to Camp Afro Foli 2018. This year we will once again be bringing Africa to the Sunshine Coast (and the Sunshine Coast to Africa) with three days of drumming and dancing. This camp will be especially close to the heart for both of us because not only will Bassidi once again be joining us all the way from Mali, but so will Clair Okamoto from Japan. Clair’s house in Guinea is where Bec was learning with the Merveilles artists. Clair once a member of the Ballet will be teaching and sharing her incredible Guinean passion and dance! We are also super excited about Senegalese artist Pape Mbaye sharing Sabar drum and dance for the first time at Camp Afro Foli!! We can’t wait to see familiar and new faces and we can’t express how pumped drummers and dancers will be with the line up of artists we have this year. We have extended Early Bird tickets until June 7th.. so don’t delay!! Bec and Nathaniel 🙂

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