Mohamed Kamara, Assistant Professor
|Photo by Phil Farnsworth|
"I teach West African/Guinea styles. This style is unique. It’s the universal language. Many years ago in Africa we used these rhythms not just as a way of making music, but a whole different way of communication."
"The drum I play is one of the most popular drums in the world: djembe. When I came here 20 years ago, few people knew about djembe. Now it’s all over the world. I’m from a little town in Guinea, in the mountains of Futichello. A little town way away from civilization up in the mountains—a whole day’s drive. The djembe was part of everyday life in the village. It was all around me."
"My teaching style is unique. You have to be very patient, very giving, and very loving. Every semester I tell students this is a time for you to be happy. I tell everybody to put their problems in the pot at the door. African drum is more happy, more uplifting, more feeling. We have different rhythms for healing, for rain, for harvest; we have rhythms to clean the air; we have rhythms for when women cannot have kids—it’s a whole ceremony."
"It goes together—African drumming and dance. You don’t count the steps. It’s a whole different way of communication. We have a lead drummer who will give you a signal, which lets the dancers know when to start the steps, and I can give them a signal that tells them to change it to speed up, to stop it. There are hundreds of rhythms, and each one is unique, each one is done for something different, because each one has a different break to tell the drummer when to start and stop and when to start again."
"Drumming makes me so happy, it doesn't matter what is going on. As soon as I get my drums, it’s healing. Play the drum,and don’t forget to smile."
- Djembe specialist
- Leader of the group Spirit of Africa