African Djembe Drumming Club

Djembe Drumming

Weekly Djembe drumming classes with Gary Newland in Norwich start EVERY FRIDAY from 27th January and run through to 30th June (except Good Friday14th April). Classes open to all, levels. Drums provided or bring your own. Classes will run from 7.00pm to 9.00pm (arrive 15 mins early for prompt start). Cost per session £10.00

About Gary Newland

Gary has been a lifelong drummer since learning to play the kit drums at the age of thirteen. Gary was introduced to the West African Djembe drum in 1992 and soon started running weekly workshops in Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich. By the mid nineties he had built up a considerable following, released two teaching CD’s and in 1996, founded the well known East Anglia world music event Drum Camp, a three day world music workshop festival, now in its 22nd year. 

A year later he co-founded The Karamba Experience, a music and dance holiday company which took students on two week courses to learn drumming and dance. These courses operated in countries such as Senegal, Cuba and India. 

In 2000 he teamed up with Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD Festival through a new collaborative partnership WOMAD-Karamba World Music and Dance Holidays. Since then, he has been working continuously with the WOMAD festival team, providing touring artists and workshop leaders to the festival programme from Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Indian Sub-Continent. Since 2008 he has managed two of the venues at their annual Charlton Park festival – The World Rhythms and All Singing All Dancing Stages.

Gary provides a range of world music and event management services through his consultancy Music Worldwide. He performs regularly with Gambian Kora player Sefo Kanuteh as well as the world groove fusion band The Scoobs.


Teaching content

Djembe drumming has become a hugely popular form of communal music making. Countless people up and down the country have developed skills and playing abilities by attending weekly classes. Most people that start drumming soon experience the fun, group energy and community spirit that drumming provides. The Djembe can provide an accessible entry point for those at beginner level, or have no previous musical background, as well as being an instrument of choice for those top of their game. 

Gary’s workshops will provide learning content both for those just starting out, to those with experience at intermediate or more advance levels. The weekly workshops will continually introduce new rhythms to learn, ensuring that those that miss a class one week, or join the group at later date, will always have brand new material to learn along with regular attendees. Participants will learn about time keeping, correct playing posture, relaxation techniques, poly-rhythmic drumming, call and response parts, and in time, lead or solo techniques.

The weekly content will draw on an extensive number of rhythms Gary has taught over the past 25 years. The rhythms will originate from West African countries such as Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal and The Gambia, to specially adapted rhythms for the Djembe, which Gary has created around Afro-Cuban patterns and compositions.

Gary’s warm and friendly style creates a workshop atmosphere which is educative, accessible and always enjoyable.

Come and join us!