ECOLE de DJEMBE with Anna Melnikoff

Are you interested in taking your hand-drumming practice to the next level? Ecole de Djembe is now offering a weekly drop-in djembe and dundun class every Monday evening, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. All levels are welcome.

Students will be introduced to beautiful traditional polyrhythms from the Mande culture of West Africa (Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire), played on djembe and dunduns. We will start each class by focusing on basic and foundational techniques, followed by djembe and dundun accompaniments, simple solos and variations, improvisational techniques, cultural context, and occasionally traditional songs. Typically we will work on a single rhythm over several weeks. At the end of each class, students can make a clean recording of whatever we’ve learned.

Cost for a single drop-in class is $20, or you can pre-register for 6 classes for $100. Bring your own djembe if you have one; djembes and dunduns also available for student use if needed.If you’ve never tried hand drumming before, or your only exposure so far has been a drum circle, these classes are an excellent way to deepen your knowledge, skill and comprehension of the complexity of world rhythmaculture. Not only is it fun, it also brings numerous health and spiritual/emotional benefits.

Drumming has been clinically proven to:
– reduce blood pressure, tension, anxiety and stress
– boost immune system response
– assist in controlling chronic pain
– release negativity, emotional blockages and trauma
– improve focus, symptoms of ADD and dyslexia

Additionally, at the community level, hand drumming helps to create a sense of connectedness to Spirit, Self, and to others. In traditional Mande culture, the word ‘djembe’ is said to mean, literally, ‘to come together in joy/celebration’, and drumming is an integral part of all traditional community health.

About the instructor:
Shortly after Anna Melnikoff began studying advanced metaphysics, meditation, and vibrational healing in 1996, she stumbled upon her first djembe and was called to study traditional Mande drumming. Her love affair with traditional Mande polyrhythms led her to Guinea, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and all over North America in search of teachers. Her formative training was with the lineage of Malinke master drummer Famoudou Konate and his extended family.
Having experienced the highest potential of transformative mastery in her West African studies, Anna knows that study of the djembe will be a lifelong practice for her. Aside from teaching weekly classes both north of the city and out of her downtown studio, she currently teaches djembe at York University, where she began training the first York Mande Drum Ensemble in 2003. She’s been relentless in her commitment to accurately transmitting traditional djembe and dundun teaching to her diverse students. As a teacher, she’s gifted in her ability to translate traditional Mande musical and cultural concepts for novices; in a sense, preparing her students for a deeper level of traditional study with African teachers. Anna has been instrumental in planting the seeds of traditional djembe music in the GTA and beyond, regularly organizing and sponsoring workshops with visiting master drummers in the GTA.

Anna Melnikoff with Salimata Diabate in Burkina Faso, 2011.
Anna has shared the stage with a number of master drummers over the years, and she’s a regular performer with the Lua Shayenne Dance Company, and a member of Akwaba Cultural Exchange, with whom she performs traditional Ivoirian drum and dance. She also formed a few groups – Bolokelen, from 1999 to 2006; Moussoufolila, an all-female group formed in 2010; and Saboumando, formed in 2015.
The training in metaphysics, meditation and vibrational healing has continued along with the drumming – Anna has been teaching advanced vibrational systems of Power, Energy and Healing work in the form of practical training in the use of the mind as an instrument of frequency for healing and manifestation.
This year, for the first time, Anna will also be teaching at the Ontario Womyn’s Drum Camp, from June 16-19 in Haliburton ON. She is also a certified meditation, vibrational healing, and elemental shamanism instructor with the Training in Power Academy, and offers introductory 4-week courses on meditation, vibrational healing, and advanced metaphysics at her studio.

Instructor Anna Melnikoff has been teaching the Mande Drum Ensemble course at York University since 2003.
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MusiCamp at Union Station

MusiCamp is so excited to be part of #UnionSummer and the revitalization project at Union Station. With performance in West African drumming and dance, Georgian song and dance, and Roots Music at the Sir John A. Macdonald Plaza in front of Union Station – the busiest, most important multi-modal transportation hub in Canada, serving nearly a quarter-million passengers daily! – MusiCamp is providing culturally diverse and interactive musical experiences to the gateway to Toronto, our wonderful city!

 

  • African Drumming and Dance Workshop, Sundays July 10 12 PM – 1 PM
  • Songs and Dances from Georgia on Sunday, July 17 12 PM -1 PM
  • African Drumming and Dance Workshop on Sundays Aug 7 12 PM – 1 PM
  • The Vocal Roots, Aug 14 12 PM – 1 PM
More info on each week can be read below. Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

West African Drumming and Dance Workshop
July 10 and Aug 17, 12 PM – 1 PM

The public joining in on MusiCamp's African Drum workshop at The Dundas West Festival 2016.

The public joining in on MusiCamp’s African Drum workshop at The Dundas West Festival 2016.

Don’t just sit and watch, join the inner drum and dance circle and experience the ancient, mesmerizing West African rhythms like you never have before! Led by Anna Melnikoff, one of Canada’s foremost experts in the West African Mande drumming tradition, and aided by members of Saboumando (www.saboumando.com) and MusiCamp, you will be sure to find the groove and develop a deeper connection to this tradition that has inspired so much music in the world today.

 

Georgian Song and Dance
Sunday July 17, 12 PM – 1 PM.

Georgian Dance

Members of Georgian Soul performing at Toronto Fashion Week

Be prepared for a transformatively visceral experience with songs and dance from Georgia, a small, mountainous country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Known for its distinctive harmonies, this millennia-old musical tradition was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. Today we bring it to you through the award-winning trio ZARI (www.ZARItrio.com), members of the Makharashvili family, and a special guest from the dance troupe Georgian Soul. We’ll also give you a first-hand taste of this exceptional music, with opportunity for you to get up and sing and dance with us!

 

The Vocal Roots
Sunday August 14, 12 PM –  PM.

Broulala DayoDelight

BrouLaLa performing at Day of Delight

This performance features traditional and contemporary interpretations of Roots Music – from classic tunes on the “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack to newly written songs by local roots musicians and borrowings from world music. With a special emphasis on the voice, the performance features many a cappella arrangements, body percussion, child performers from MusiCamp and the jazz/roots vocal group BrouLaLa. We’ll also get you involved, with a chance to sing, snap, stomp and clap along!