Michael Taylor



Michael Taylor’s studies with djembe Grand Master Mamady Keita have provided the framework for his commitment to the music of djembe tradition. He has toured internationally and nationally with Mamady Keita, Vinx, Omou Sangare, Jali and Kora Master Morikeba Kouyate, Youth Choral Theatre of Chicago and Yoyo Ma, . His professional travels have taken him to Guinea, West Africa; China, Ireland, Japan and Mexico. He has authored 3 instructional videos, recorded 3 cd’s of original music and has played on numerous recording projects. Having presented workshops at KoSA, several universities, including Northern Iowa, Northwestern Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan, Northern Illinois, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, he is in great demand as a clinician and educator. Mr. Taylor holds a Senior Certified Teacher certificate issued by Grand Master Drummer Mamady Keita, founder of Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy, Intl school of djembe. He is the founder and director of the TTMDA – Chicago branch.

ABOUT THE CLINIC / PERFORMANCE: Speaking the Language of Djembe – The Semantics of Understanding Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced rhythms and Traditional Regional Djembe Dialects

In this workshop, Michael Taylor, Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy Senior Instructor, will break down why certain djembe rhythms are considered “beginner”, “intermediate” or “advanced”; illustrating what rhythms contain foundational elements upon which other, more complicated rhythms are based. This overview will lead to a summarization of what Taylor calls the “kingdoms of djembe”, which will make the vast world of djembe feel far more clear and connected.  Particular focus will be put on strength of the foundational aspects of the rhythm. As with spoken language, regional dialects are very present in djembe language. A, as well as exploring what gives a rhythm Malinke feel, Faranah feel, Wassolon feel, what is Dununba or Zaouli language, etc., in it’s essence. Signals, sometimes called “breaks”, what they mean and what they communicate; they are not only for tempo and dynamics, they can indicate rhythmic meter, feel, as well as melodic structures.



Posted on

August 30, 2019