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African Drums

Album 05: Gamba Trip 2005

In 2005 I travelled to the Gambia for the first time to study with master drummer Moussa Sylla. Moussa was very ill at the time but still insisted on teaching me as much as he could. It was an honour to meet Moussa and study with him. He was a very patient teacher and very encouraging. He told me that he was happy for me to go back to Europe and teach what he had taught me. Moussa's style of playing and teaching was very traditional and had not been Westernised at all. Sometimes it took me a while to get a grasp of the rhythms as I had to drop my western approach to music and try and open up to the African way (it could be said that music in Africa is caught and not taught). It was a great experience for me and I was very sad not to get the opportunity to see Moussa again.

Read a short biography of Moussa Sylla.

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