Seckou Keita and Mohamed Sipa Sylla in Abene, Senegal, Dec 2019 – Jan 2020

SECKOU KEITA and Mohamed Sipa Sylla

in Abené, Senegal

We look forward to you joining us for two or three weeks of top quality djembé tuition between 27th Dec 2019 and either 10th or 17th January 2020 with two brilliant teachers, Seckou Keita and Mohamed Sipa Sylla, in Abené – Senegal’s famous “drumming village” on the Casamance coast.

Seckou is an incredible musician and fantastic teacher, performing and teaching all over the world. And yet, those of you who already know him will be aware of just how approachable, personable and fun his teaching style can be. 

Abene is also populated by a number of Guinean musicians and dancers. One of the most highly respected of these is Mohamed Sipa Sylla. Sipa has been running workshops and classes for many years and is a popular choice for djembe students who visit Abene. 

Please note: this course is not suitable for beginners / improvers. If you are unsure of what djembé level you are, please contact us.

Course Information

Seckou Keita will be leading classes for the second and third week of the camp, and Sipa will be leading the class for the first week. You can expect three hours of djembe tuition per day over 10 days in the first two weeks, and over 5 days in the third week. The third week will be aimed at advanced drummers, whereas the first two weeks will be mixed level (not appropriate for beginners however – we will be able to arrange beginners sessions with a local teacher for less experienced partners if required).  Dance classes in the late afternoons can also be arranged for those interested when we are there.

The third week is for advanced drummers only and will be taught by Seckou Keita with Sipa supporting. 

You can either join us for:

Weeks 1 & 2 (mixed level),

Weeks 2 & 3 (mixed level week 2 and advanced only week 3),

Weeks 1,2 & 3 (as before), or

Week 3 only (advanced only).

Afternoon classes

We have used our knowledge and years of experience attending courses in West Africa and the conclusion we came to is that attending a longer class in the morning works well for almost everyone. However in the afternoon, some people are keen to relax, go to the beach, site see or use that time to assimilate what they have been learning. Others want to study other art forms and / or play more djembe.

As frequent visitors to Abené and the surrounding areas, we are also able to source some excellent local teachers to provide afternoon lessons supported by local dundun players. For an additional fee, payable in Abené, you can choose from the following options below.

  • Dance
  • Balafon
  • Dundun

1:1 (or small group) 1 hour tuition – Kora

You can rent a djembe during your stay in Abené which you are also welcome to buy. We cannot guarantee that the quality will be as good as the djembe/s you play at home. In our experience some drummers prefer to bring their own and pay for the extra luggage weight. As regular visitors to Senegal over many years we have taken drums out and / or brought drums back that we have purchased, without them being damaged. However there is a risk of damage – therefore it’s your decision!

Timetable – a typical workshop day

Note: The morning djembe classes run 5 days out of 7. The optional afternoon classes will run according to demand (see above).

Breakfast 8.30 – 9.30am
Djembé class 9.45am – 1pm
Lunch 1 – 2pm
Extra classes tbc
Dinner 7.30 – 8.30pm.