Bedford Djembe Group
High energy African drumming and song in Clophill near Hitchin
At last there is now an African drumming group near Bedford, where you can learn traditional rhythms from West Africa and sing the joyous songs they accompany. As well as djembe we play dun duns, Ghanaian drums and percussion. You can drop in any week, but you'll get the most out of it with regular attendance.
Here you can see some of us performing in December 2009 as part of a Bedfordshire Music showcase concert, and below as part of Bedford Busking Festival in 2011. More recent gigs include the Paralympics (which went ballistic!) and charity firewalks, as well as school concerts and fetes.
> > > Watch us busking on Youtube! :-)
If you'd like us to perform at your event, please check our performance spec and then contact us with the date+time, location and type of event so we can give you an accurate quote. A typical 20-minute performance costs around £120 + travel costs.
We have a lovely new venue: The Clophill Centre! It's easy to find, on the eastern edge of Clophill (which is midway between Bedford and Luton), just after the white gates marking the end of the village. Please park at the end of the car park nearest the entrance, not down by the house; that way you get to catch some of the special vibes of this magical place as you walk...
On warm summer evenings, we often play outdoors in the woods, at least until 8:30pm when the rising dew starts to make the drums damp. If you can't find us in the building, we usually leave a note explaining that we're in the woods, located at the end of a long straight track which begins between the house and the huge swing. Enjoy the 200m walk as an ideal time to relax and unwind before you immerse yourself in the lovely energy of the woods.
We meet on Tuesday evenings, usually in The Birch Room except for once a month when Reiki is on in there, so then we'll play in The Garden Room instead. The next Reiki dates for 2013 are on Apr 9th+23rd, May 14th, Jun 11th, Jul 9th, Aug 6th, Sept 17th, Oct 22nd, Nov 19th and Dec 17th, but it should be easy to tell the difference between folk laying hands on bodies and laying hands on drums :-)
All Tuesday evening sessions start at 7:00pm and end at 10pm, (but do read on...). We'll pause for a short break from 8:45-9pm to chat, so bring a drink if you like.
We will be continuing our Tuesday classes all through the Easter holidays. Any weeks where the class is not happening will be announced here and also on our (low-traffic) mailing list, so sign up for updates by sending me an email if you want to be kept informed of dates and other local drumming-related events/news.
The sessions are structured so that everyone gets some focus on their level of playing ability. If you're not sure which category would benefit you most, you can check your level of playing.
|Level||Arrive at||Leave at||Focus time|
Complete new Starters who've never played a drum before need to arrive at 7pm for briefing on the basic techniques, and can stay until 8:15pm when we pace up. They are welcome to join us any week, although private tuition beforehand is always beneficial, either one-to-one or in small groups. Our first half-hour (7-7:30pm) will cater solely for new Starters and Beginners, going slowly through simple parts for rhythms we'll play faster later on when other players arrive.
Improvers and Intermediates join the Beginners at 7:30pm, and stay on until the end of the break from 8:45pm-9pm, or leave sooner if they feel like they're getting out of their depth or their head is full! After the break, Improvers depart, just leaving the performance group of Intermediate/Advanced players to rehearse for the final hour.
Experienced/Advanced players may come for the whole session (better value, since the cost is the same regardless), but should arrive by 8:00pm to avoid missing out on learning new rhythms.
* Please note that players are welcome to arrive earlier than their scheduled focus time but should respect the current level and not play really really fast unless expressly asked to! Anyone coming before their level's focus time should be prepared to go slow to avoid intimidating beginners, and may be asked to play other rhythms/percussion/dun duns.
As long as they are keen players (not just being brought along due to lack of childcare at home) and can behave maturely, older children aged 11 and above are welcome, accompanied by a parent. I also teach a separate group for younger children aged 7-10.
- £7 for everyone