Updated 21st Apr 2023
Kontaani means 'HAPPY' in the West African language of Mandinka
We are an eclectic bunch of lovely folk from all walks of life with one common bond - African Drumming!
There are now three main groups under the umbrella of KONTAANI DRUMMING GROUP -
- The Performance Band established 2010 - KONTAANI DRUMMING TROUPE
- Weekly Wednesday evening class - KUKUA DRUMMING GROUP (born on a Wednesday) established 2010 - improver to intermediate level group
- The brand new KUMAASI CLASS (new beginnings) started on Saturday 28th Jan 23 Meeting once a month for 3 hours on Sat afternoon. Suitable for complete beginners, improvers and folk who already have a sound grasp of djembe but who wish to work on technique and self improvement at a more gentle pace - see tab at the top of the page to join or for more information
I also run one off group workshops, events (Kontaani Drumfest) and short courses in African drumming. I am also happy to offer 1 to 1 lessons in your own home.
We don't profess to be authentic 'Djembefolas' but we have a great deal of fun drumming together for pleasure and relaxation. Most of the rhythms we play are based on the traditional music of West Africa which at times we may 'tweak' to fit our ability. That's not to say we don't take our music very seriously!
I started Kontaani in 2010 due to a distinct lack of djembe drumming tuition in the Macclesfield area. Kontaani was born from 4 Langley friends who drummed together on a Sunday afternoon. We took it in turns to host the Sunday gatherings in our own terraced homes.
We moved to the local village hall after an elderly neighbour said he thought bombs were dropping on Langley!
I opened up our drumming group to any like minded person in the area, or beyond, interested in joining us to just simply DRUM!
From the most committed players at the time, I formed Kontaani Drumming Troupe - the band.
The Kuku Weds class has since grown - members have come and gone through the years - some have gone on to more advanced classes but many have stayed and been with us from the beginning. We currently have around 60 members between the 3 groups, although not all drum at once!
No experience is necessary. We welcome beginners to advanced players.
Our 2 hour Kukua classes are on Wednesday evenings in Langley:-
- Drum hire in class is free of charge
- The current fee per class is £10
- Weekly fee includes refreshments
- You are welcome to bring your own beer and wine
Our 3 hour Kumaasi classes are once a month on Saturday day time in Langley:-
- Drum hire in class is free of charge
- The current fee per class is £15
- Monthly fee includes refreshments
- You are welcome to bring wine and beer
Every so often we have a tutored workshop when we invite specialist teachers such as Sidiki Dembele, Iya Sako and Jamie Riley of Drumroots to come along to train us in new rhythms and techniques.
If you would like to join either of the classes please call or email to register your interest
The Kontaani performance troupe - the band, train every Thursday evening The members are already very experienced in performing in public and are a semi-pro troupe. They have been chosen not only for ability and talent, but for complete commitment to Kontaani. This group is currently closed for applications
Our band played our first public 'gig' as Kontaani on the 11th December 2010 at the Langley Review which went down a storm.
We have gone on to play gigs at:
- Kings Head in Gurnett (supporting Xbvrs)
- The Church House Beer Festival
- Gawsworth Rotary Club Garden Party
- Kings Head Music Festival 2011 & 2012
- Langley Fête 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018
- Sutton On Stage 2 years running
- The opening of Cloud 9 Holistic Centre
- Macclesfield Fair Trade Fortnight in the Market Place - 2 years
- The Jolly Sailor
- Snowgoose beer garden
- Storm Brewery
- Just Drop In Centre 10 year anniversary
- The Fermain Club open day
- Macclesfield Castle Rotary Club Christmas Party
- African Dance Party in Stoke supporting the Beat Artistes
- Snowgoose Live supporting Konkoma,
- Cheshire Cheese in Buxton,
- The Swettenham Arms Bonfire Party
- Manchester Airport - under the wings of Concorde at a gala dinner for the opening of the new Air Traffic Control Tower!
- Longevity Record Label, we played at Manchester Academy as guest band at the 'Last Band Standing' event
- Lime Bar, Salford Quays, for the opening England match of the World Cup
The fantastic Brothers Tour with Sidiki Dembele (see Brothers Tour photos in the tab at the top of the page) which was held at Ronnies Bar and Club, Macclesfield
- We also played with Sidiki at the Brothers Tour Manchester gig in June the same year
- Winter Musical Extravaganza at St Michaels Church
- Manchester Academy 3 as a guest band at ‘battle of the bands’
- Matlock Bath Music Festival
- Bollington Arts Centre supporting Tanante
- Tatton Park Summer Fair - 3 years on the run (Kukua and Kontaani)
- Snowgoose, Macclesfield
- Kush Fest - Yoga festival raising money to build a school in Sierra Leone
- The Farm Club Winter Festival by the beautiful Pickmere lake
We continue to play regular gigs, private parties and festivals in the area and beyond - far too many to keep listing!
We play traditional West African Rhythms (amongst others) on traditional West African Drums - mainly djembe, dun dun, sangban, kenkeni and krin.
As the Kukua classes have become more and more popular we occasionally hold performances for family and friends to showcase our talents. This ensures all members have the experience of performing to strive towards. However, performing in public is not compulsory. No one is under any pressure.
Drumming is emotive, infectious, healing, meditative, good exercise, aids dexterity, improves memory, a great cardiac workout, socially bonding, great fun, mood enhancing, aids pain relief, uplifting and damn right wonderful! Try it - You might like it, but then again you might just LOVE it!
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