West African Drum Lessons with Chris Helvey

Saturday December 16th 3-5pm, $25 sliding scale

We will start at the beginning and learn two traditional rhythms. These drum classes are somewhat self-leveling in terms of student experience level. Beginners will get to learn the basics and more experienced players will learn the nuances of the rhythm. A few djembes will be available for rent.  First come first server. What we will learn:

  • Tradition West African Beats
  • Playing tips
  • Woman friendly (No egos here)
  • Fun and supportive
  • Beginners welcome
  • Recorded for practicing

Chris has been a drummer since the age of eight. Around twenty years ago, he was intrigued by the Djembe as an instrument and upon discovering the music it supported, came an "Aha!" about rhythm. What followed became a deep learning experience of West African rhythm, along with following the influences it has had on western music. He has traveled to Guinea, West Africa to learn from the source, and has studied with many masters both African and American. His teachers have been Mamady Keita (Conakry,) Famadou Konate' (Conakry,) Fadouba Oulare (Faranah,) Ryan Edwards (Boston,) Michael Taylor (Chicago,) Michael Markus (New York,) and Bruce Langhorn (Los Angeles,) among others.

Chris also plays guitar, congas, and anything that makes a sound. African music runs in his blood even while playing slack-key guitar. He often says that the influence of African music in his his own life and music style is like the egg in a cake. You can't separate them anymore.