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.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.