Power of the West African Drum

Michael Markus

Magbana (Magbana, 2003)

Magbana is a New York-based drum and dance group composed of fourteen percussionists and dancers. Most of the instruments used are of West African origin, including jembe, dunduns, songbas, and kenkeni. There are also instruments from other parts of Africa, such as the udu drum and Afro Brazilian percussion: pandeiro, berimbau and tamborim.

The main percussionists in the group are not African, but that doesn’t matter. The rhythms are spectacular and a delight for percussion lovers. In addition, the use of several percussionists, using a wide variety of instruments makes the music interesting.

To make things even better, the drumming group invited several additional musicians to participate in the recording, including several big names in the New York African music scene, including Famoro Dioubate on balaphones, Sylvain Lerouz on Fula flute, and two additional jembe players, M’bemba Bangoura and Laurent Camara, who turn piece #11, "Kondé/Sankranba Dundun/Demosoni ‘Tuku’ Kelen," into a jembe fest, with three jembe solos.

Get the CD from www.magbana.com.