It's nice to have an opportunity to network with other people with similar interests here and I look forward to sharing and gaining knowledge and information with you all!
I live in Victoria, B.C, Canada. Victoria is a small city on an island off the West Coast of the Province of British Columbia, Canada. With a combined population of around 300, 000 it still has a distinctively small-town feel to it. The population is an ethnically diverse one made up of European and European descent (me), Aboriginal First Nations, and Asian being the most dominant ethnic groups here.
Musically, I am a novice as far as playing goes. After all these years I finally made the choice to start learning more about music and rhythm. After all, music listening has been near and dear to my heart for so long why shouldn't I take it to the next step? I bought my first drum in Ottawa, Ontario (the capital city of Canada) in winter 2002. It's a really nice Cameroon style talking drum that I still take out and whoop it up frequently. Over the years the amount of furniture I own has diminished and drums increased - drastically. It looks a LOT nicer in here, let me tell you! I get together with a couple of other crackers on Saturday mornings and together we try and figure out some basic Bembe and Rhumba patterns that we have picked up from workshops that are put on occasionally by a fellow named Arturo who comes up from Seattle, and some other sources. There are so few people here from Africa and the diaspora and Latino culture that finding good, qualified instructors and cultural exposure is difficult. On Mondays we also practise some West African percussion with a slightly larger group that we pick up from classes put on here in Victoria.
It's funny sometimes; we take lessons from the same instructor at pretty much the same class and sure enough, we all have different ideas on how a rhythm should be played when it comes to practising! We do get some excellent workshops come through town occasionally which are mostly organized by Jordan Hanson who is our main man for percussion arts here on the Island. We have had Yoruba Andabo, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Juan de Marcos and the AfroCuban All-stars, among several others, and I feel very honoured to have had the experience of learning from every one of these people and to see them perform here. Eventually, I will take the big step of travelling to the Caribbean; Cuba especially, and to almost everywhere in Africa. I wish I could give up my "career" and spend the rest of my sane years studying musicae (yes, I just invented this word) and cultures outside of my own.
Over the years my collection of instruments has grown from the dondo to: A wonderful pair of custom ashikos, 3 bugarabous, 3 congas that I partly made), a djembe, a bara, a set of dununs of which the shells I made myself out of reclaimed teak and had them headed by Kevin and the crew @ DrumSkulls, an atesimevu, a krin, a wine barrel drum that I made with some help and headed myself and a kenkeni that I made and headed myself and numerous other tah-tinkers, ring-dingers and thing-a-ma-jingers. Several of my instruments are from Drumskull Drums in Santa Cruz, California. I am known as "That Crazy-man With the Drums" in my apartment building... ah well, they're less maintenance than cats!
That's all I have for now... check back regularly for updates!