Traditional African Drum classes, Dance classes,

Workshops, Performances
Welcome to AZ Drum And Dance



posted: 02/21/2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Crisis, we decided to postpone this workshop to either later this year, or next year.

Please stay posted.

West African Drum Intensive Workshop with Herman Kathan

7 days of rhythm - 7 days of groove

June 8 through June 14, 2020
Prescott, AZ (Prescott National Forest)

In this workshop, we will experience 7 days at a wonderful place in the Prescott National Forest to immerse ourselves in the beautiful Djembé music of West Africa and have a glimpse into th
e Candomblé music of Brazil.
In both musical traditions, we will focus mainly on ritual music of trance-cults and mask-cults.

We will not only learn a number of grooves complete with bass drum or Atabaque patterns, accompaniments and solo phrases, but also learn about how they are embedded in the cultural and cult life of West Africa and Brazil. The complex music of these areas can best be understood and experienced within its deep structure, and in knowing the background in which this wonderful music is played.
We will dedicate ourselves to rhythms from different cultural regions and work with the music of the Malinke, the Bamana, the Khassonke from West Africa and the people of Salvador in Bahia / Brazil.

The a-metric concept which Kathan has explored intensively extends far beyond the beat concept most frequently employed by “Western” cultures as a means of approaching percussion music of West Africa. This allows for a high degree of musical freedom, creating the prerequisite for playing grooves with a soft yet driving touch. To implement this concept we will develop our capacity to perceive relationships between tones, which allows us to recognize melodies that spread like networks between the individual tones.
The melodic level gives us access to the layer of micro-timing, which is dependent upon the type of rhythm and its tempo. Through increasing insight into these subtle and complex structures, it becomes clear why binary and ternary rhythms need not differ essentially.
The manifestation of these various musical realities ultimately gives us access to the level at which music corresponds to universal laws. At this level, we perceive individual rhythms as fields of force. This force attracts us magically when it resonates in our rhythms. We will “explore” one traditional rhythm that we learn, at this level using very simple trance techniques.

We will reflect and exchange our experiences that we gained in this way in the group together.

Each morning we will start the day with a sharing round in order to listen to the other group members and communicate themes that appear important to each of us.

For the course we will have a cook who will organize the kitchen for us. Nevertheless, we are dependent on the help of the seminar participants for the preparation of the sumptuous vegetarian meals. This assistance extends to a manageable amount of time per meal during the seminar breaks.

for more information and workshop registration,
please call Lorin @ 480 251 5351

or send email