Djembe & Mande Music Page
(last revision 08/18/99)

NUMBER:  ISBN 0-9647845-0-5

One of the benefits of participating in Jembe list has been making contact with serious students and teachers in other countries. As a result, many of you now have a copy of the Le Tambour Djembe instructional book and CD, which came to us from Serge Blanc in France.

Now, ANOTHER really great series of djembe/dunun instructional products are available, authored by Stephan Rigert of Switzerland. Here's the basic scoop on the products, followed with information about how to purchase. I'm gonna stick to "the facts" and (hopefully!) save a review for the future from one of you!

"Westafrikanische Djemberhythmen (West African Djembe Rhythms)" by Stephan Rigert is a book featuring 12 complete arrangements for traditional Mande rhythms. The rhythms include:
Mandiani, Komodenu, Doundoumba, Danza, Djole, Tiriba, Sorsonet, Kassa, Fankani, Soli Lent & Rapid, Kakilambe, Kuku

The parts for each rhythm are given in easy to read box-notation. Most arrangements include the call, 3 djembe parts, dunun, sangba and kenkeni with the bells - as well as a ballet style multiple dunun arrangement playable by one person.

Each rhythm also includes notation for a group introduction, a group break, and the chauffer (echauffment) or group build-up prior to a break or change. Many of the rhythms also include notated examples of solo phrasing for the rhythm. (This book is brimming with material to work on!)

Although the text is in German, there's only three pages of it - most
everything is notation. Stephan has mentioned the possibility of an
English translation of this section which I can e-mail you later and which will eventually be included along with the book. However, I'm fully confident that this book will be immediately useful to anyone who can read box notation (more on this below).

The second product in the series is a performance CD by the same title: Westafrikanische Djemberhythmen. The performing group is called "Percussion Collective" and features Louis Cesar Ewande, joined by Stephan Rigert, Nik Indermuhle, Daniel Wiedmer, Peter Hurlimann, Samuel Herren and Christoph Erard.

The playing is HOT! This recording gives great credibility to the comments made at various times on the Jembe list about the very high calibre of playing that's going on among the Europeans. In contrast to the "audio examples" style CD from the Le Tambour package, this stand-alone CD compliments the book by putting all the parts directly into a performance context. All the calls, introductions, breaks (and more) from the book are there. Most of the arrangements begin in a relaxed, "deep groove" tempo, and then move up to blistering velocity. Ewande's solo work is great, and the group is VERY tight! The intro to Kuku has to be heard to be believed....

This CD has become my favorite practice resource - I just put it on and play along with the CD for my warmup, focusing on whatever parts I'm working on. I'd highly recommend the CD even if you aren't interested in the instructional materials - the music is intricate and inspiring.

Currency exchange rates and the price of overseas shipping have challenged me to be able to offer you these items at a reasonable cost. The book will retail for $30 US (as I mentioned with the Serge book, remember that a single drum class costs $10-15; this is still quite a bargain!. The performance CD will also retail for $30.00. If you purchase them both I'll knock off $5.00, for a total cost of $55. The additional $3.00 shipping fee covers priority airmail within the U.S.

You can order by mailing a check (sorry, I'm not able to accept credit
cards) to:

Michael Wall 5295-D Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96821
Please be sure to include your name and full address with your order. (Legibly!) I will airmail the the products to you immediately upon reciept of your check. For orders outside the U.S., please drop me a note with your address and I'll check into postage and get back to you asap.

If possible, please drop me an e-mail note if you intend to order. Because I was not sure how people might react to a product with (minimal) German text, my first order was only 25 copies. If demand is high, e-mailing me will reserve you a copy until your check arrives.

FInally, (here's the "hook"...) as I said above, I'm confident from my own use of the materials that the book will be a valuable addition to your resource library even though it's in German. If you purchase the book and find that you don't agree, I will refund your money (minus the shipping costs) provided you return it in "new" condition.

Westafrikanische Djemberhythmen (West African Djembe Rhythms) by Stephan Rigert:

Book only - $30 + $3 shipping $33.00
CD only - $30 + $3 shipping $33.00
Book and CD - $55 + $3 shipping $58.00

Michael Wall 5295-D Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96821

P.S. Stephan Rigert also sells a set 12 of "Play Along" cassettes designed as companions to the book. They are useful for practicing at more moderate tempos, or for working on soloing. The recording quality is excellent. If anyone is interested in ordering a set of these, I will be happy to order them for you the NEXT time I order more books. The entire series is $99, plus shipping.

P.S.S. For those of you who can read German, Stephan Rigert has a second book called "Djembe Workshop". I can't read German, so I can't really tell you much about it except - it looks (based on the photos) like there's a section on both djembe and dunun technique, a series of exercises, and notation for Kurubi, Yankadi, Marakadon, Sofa and variations on Mendiani and Kakilambe. I won't be carrying this item but would be happy to forward any inquiries you may have to Stephan Rigert, or to include a copy for you in my next order.

Michael Wall

[ToC] [ToP]