Trip To Africa! _______________________________________________
"A single journey can change the course of your life"
Famoudou Konaté invites us to study djembe, dunun, dance and more in Guinea this December and January. Alan Tauber & DrumConnection present: Drumming, Dance & MANDE Music in Guinea, West Africa with THE Grandmaster of the Djembe and Dunun... yes the totally amazing Famoudou Konaté!
December 28, 2014 to January 17, 2015
Join us for the trip of a lifetime, studying djembe and dunun drumming in Africa with Masters of the craft. A true cultural and musical immersion in Malinké music. Boston area’s DrumConnection is hosting an unforgettable journey to the birthplace of the djembe. In this 3 Week trip you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the music and culture of Guinea. Study drum and dance, attend festivals and celebrations, learn about the country and its people and discover the magic that IS Africa!
“I just read the follow-up email you wrote Alan. I can’t thank you enough for this incredible experience. I am amazed at how much I learned and not just on djembe. But, for me, it was about the people of Guinea. They made me a brother and we became very close. Thanks for changing my life!!”
“It amazes me that we became part of a family within a day and were so welcomed. For me, for the first time in my life, I felt at home. The instruction in all the instruments was fantastic and the teachers were extraordinary. Thank you for making this at all possible. It was, as you said, life changing!”
“Thank you Alan, Your great work continues to inspire, even in the face of violence and war--ESPECIALLY in the face of the darkness. Blessings to you and Fanta in 2011--may DrumConnection grow and spread the beauty of Guinean drumming far and wide! I hope to travel with you once again this coming year on this great trip.”
"I have only studdied with Famoudou for a week in the United States a few years ago and have been hoping to travel to Guinea to study with him in his home. I am so excited to see this trip posted. I am signing up right now!"
Join us on our exciting trip to Guinea! We will make this trip an unforgettable expedition to study, observe and participate in the fascinating drum & dance culture of the Malinke, Sousou and Fulani people.
While we will be drumming quite a bit we will also experience traditional Guinean dance and experience the connection to Africa. Through this experience, we will grow as musicians and experience profound personal changes as we develop and explore our new relationships with our teachers, friends and the environment.
The trip is for 3 Weeks in December 2014 to January 2015. Our home is based in Simbaya Gare, a village suburb not far from the capital Conakry, Guinea. We will be guests at a traditional compound where will enjoy a safe stay, comfortable accommodations and a welcoming African family. Our facility includes single (a few) or double room occupancy, toilet (African style) and bathing facilities, a drum and dance space, places to relax and unwind, and all of our African friends who will help you find your way.
We plan to make two (or more) side trips on our non-drumming days: One, to a famous market and incredible waterfall in Kindia. Here you can make incredible fabric purchases or simply enjoy the views and the people. Kindia is a large village with country restaurants, large open-air produce and fabric markets, a couple of discos, and more. Can you say, "balafon central"?! We also plan a day trip to Kassa ni Soro, a pristine beach off the coast of Guinea for lots of Sun and Surf and a picnic! A trip to Roome is also very likely!
Alan Tauber, Director of DrumConnection has family in Simbaya Gare a stones’ throw away. “This trip will be a great way to meet the family, make friends and associations whom you will never forget. This has been a dream of mine for 8 years. Now, it’s time and it benefits everyone.”
WHY GUINEA? ...the best Malinke drumming in the world! Guinea offers some of the greatest drummers in the world and Alan has selected the best teachers who are patient, kind and truly passionate about the music.
Some nights you will enjoy candlelight when there is no electricity. You will see the Moon and Stars like never before as we are very near the equator. The days are warm and it usually cools down a little at night with a slight ocean breeze. For your comfort you may wish to purchase a good room fan. Ask us about what to bring; a comprehensive list will be provided to all registrants.
With proper Travel Clinic advice from your doctor, and the mosquito nets provided and a little bug spray at hand, any mosquitoes should not be a problem. In January, the days and nights tend to be a bit cooler and the mosquitoes a bit less. A sorcerer lives nearby and if he’s available, we’ll make a trip to speak with him about any health concerns.
DrumConnection has connections with many people in Guinea who can be helpful to us. You will be treated very well as we create a family together! There are traditional healers and more modernized hospitals and a great doctor from Germany if we need care. But a safe trip is what we expect.
Legendary Grandmaster of the Djembe - Famoudou Konaté!
Your team of teachers will be hand picked by Famoudou Koanté to represent the highest in authenticity, approachability, and openness. Famoudou is a Master Teacher and will supervise all of the
course material and instruction. He and our assistants and other artists are dedicated to the old traditions - proud to play and dance it the way their ancestors did, with a keen attention to
detail, folklore and fun!
ALAN TAUBER, (Boston, MA US) will be your host. This will be Alan’s twelfth trip to Guinea. Alan has played and studied with Famoudou for over 12 years and assisted him in over 100 days of workshops! Alan will be available to you for any of your wishes or concerns from before you pack your bags to the day we come home once again. We will make your stay very enjoyable and be able to tailor (within reason) a workshop that will meet your needs.
THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE
Over the course of over two weeks, travelers may participate in group drum, dance classes five days a week. During your stay you may also attend balafon and/or Fula Flute classes as you wish and as available.
Near the middle and end of our trip we will take a pirogue (interesting boat) to the paradise islands of Kassa and Roome for relaxing, swimming and a picnic. It doesn’t get more like paradise that this!
Traveling to Africa can seem hard or crazy to some people. It is best to do it in a safe and structured setting that we provide. What you will gain as a participant and traveler will, very likely, change your life. An immersion in the culture and music of Guinea like this is not to be missed. Our DrumConnection trip is designed for newbie travelers to Africa as well as veteran West Africa dancers and drummers.
The experience is real and you will be safe. Guinea is so culturally rich, it will change what you believe about the world and yourself. A trip of this nature will bring you into contact with perhaps some of the most open and generous people you have ever met. Though financially poor, these people have hearts as large as the widest seas!
Please send us an email as soon as possible to let us know of your interest in this tour. There are some meetings (optional) that give you a great idea of what to expect and how to prepare. Upon request, we will email you a registration form to get you started.
The food will be traditional African fare, based on rice with a variety of sauces. You may enjoy chicken, beef, goat and lots of fresh fish from the Atlantic. There are always fresh vegetables and delicious fresh fruit. Vegetarian meals will always be available for you. Food will be prepared at the compound in a traditional kitchen, as you will see. The cooking goes on ALL day! If you like it spicy, we do spicy! Or tame if you must.
There is always bottled water available for purchase, highly recommended. Many surprises too! Can’t tell you everything:) Food on our outings is a slight bit extra.
Classes in Drum will be 5 days a week. Many afternoons we will have dance classes as people wish. Drum Classes will include proper tone production, feel, relaxation, speed, rolls, solos, traditional rhythms, songs and the cultural context of the rhythms. We may add in a ballet style arrangement and definitely the echauffements!
Dance classes will be available to those who want them and arranged during the part of the day when it is not as hot. Drummers may play for dance classes where appropriate. Balafon classes are also part of our tour as is the flute. These classes will be set up depending upon interest from you, our students.
Every 3-4 days we will have the next day OFF. These OFF days may be perfect for further musical study with a specialist in the instrument you love or perfect for a vacation. Our trip to Coyah, is possible if people are interested. It is very beautiful there in a traditional African village. And don’t forget a day or two on paradise islands, Kassa ni Soro and Roome! Amazing!
The full price of this year's trip is $1,800 (subject to change), which includes:
• Transport on the ground in Guinea (side trips a little extra, taxis are recommended)
• Lodging, based on double occupancy
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared exqusitely by Guinean chefs to your liking.
• Drumming classes 5 days a week, dancing, balafon and language classes arranged by request. (sometimes, a little extra or a tip).
• Transport to and from Airport in Conakry (CKY)
TUITION & DEPOSIT
The price of this trip is $1,800.- Plan to bring spending money for expenses not covered and purchases you may make during your stay. A $500.- deposit is required to secure your spot on the trip. Deposits must be received by October 15, 2014
DrumConnection Trip to Guinea 2012 with Mamady Kourouma, Instructor and students.
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE (but not much more)
Transport on the ground in Guinea. Food when we are away from the compound is slightly extra. Possible trips to Coyah, Market Center at Kindia, trip to Island of Kassa and your airfare is not included in the price. Airfare is from $600 RT to $1750 RT depending on where you are departing from. The cost of obtaining a passport and visa are not included in the tuition.
All the above ‘not includeds’ are not much more cost. Pocket change.
We will supply you with a very small, powerful flashlight, a microfibre cloth for cleaning glasses or camera lenses, and more. Money can be kept in a safe or hid well in your room.
NECESSARY PRE-TRIP TASKS
•You must have a letter of invitation from my family in Guinea for this trip.
•You must get your documents in order. We will help with all of it.
•You must have a passport and a visa to enter Guinea.
•Yellow Fever vaccination is required.
•Anti-Malarial medication is also required by DrumConnection. (Many choices are available)
The weather conditions in Guinea in Nov/Dec are beautiful. The days are warm (hot) and sunny and the nights are a bit cooler. There is sometimes a light breeze in the day and night. Prepare for very warm conditions. Details will be sent to registrants to help you plan your trip.
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
You must arrive on or after December 17, 2014 and leave the last day of the workshop on January 17, 2014. If you need flexibility with dates we can assist you. If you wish to stay on for a longer period of time, arrangements can be made. You can travel to another part of Africa or stay for Famoudou Konaté's second workshop that begins a week later.
If you are so enthralled with Guinea and would like to stay for a longer time, the cost will be $40 a day which includes your food and lodging. You can arrange lessons in drum, dance, other instruments or just enjoy some down time with your new friends in Guinea!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 781-316-8068 (country code 001)
By US Mail:
PO Box 1311
Arlington, MA 02474 USA
Travel with us to Guinea . . . You will never be the same.
...I was amazed at the conversations I had with co-workers from Africa about family life, respect, and the difference between our cultures. Before I went to Africa the conversations alone changed my views of my own race. After I went to Africa.....It changed my life!
from a drummer on her first trip to Africa.