Drum to a new beat

Drummer Kocassale Dioubate from Guinea and partner Sasha Belle will offer a full two days of drum and dance workshops.

Master drummer Kocassale Dioubate from Guinea, West Africa and partner Sasha Belle will be back in the Valley at the end of April, offering a full two days of drum and dance workshops.

Dioubate, from the Mandingo tribe of Guinea is a descendant of his tribe’s griots — traditional storytellers, entertainers, musicians, praise singers, counselors, and mediators: those who keep and preserve the tribe’s oral history and tradition, known to have deep connections to the spiritual, social, and political powers.

Koca was born into this inherited lineage of arts and entertainment, as well as social skill, and has been playing and creating music, as well as dancing, since his early childhood, ever since he was old enough to walk.

Born in the interior of B.C. and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Belle has been studying, teaching, and performing various forms of percussion and dance for over 10 years. In addition to her music and dance training in Latin America with a number of teachers from Mexico,Cuba, and Belize, Sasha has also more recently travelled to Guinea for intensive training.

In North America, she has had the fortune of training with percussion and dance teachers from Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, the Congo, Cameroon, and Ghana. Read more about Koca and Sasha at www.kundaculture.com.

On April 27 and 28 at the Abbey in Cumberland, Koca (with Sasha accompanying) will offer workshops in djembe, dun dun (bass drum) and dance. These workshops will be open to drummers and dancers of all levels — expect to experience drum and dance African-style.

Dance class participants beware: Sasha and Koca makes it look easy, but bring lots of water and be prepared for a workout!

Koca and Sasha will also donate their time and energy on Friday afternoon at the Fanny Bay Hall to perform as a fundraiser for Beachcombers Community School. This half-hour performance of drum and dance will be by donation and the money raised will go towards Beachcombers’ Music Department.

You’re welcome to arrive at 1:45 p.m. and the performance will be from 2 to 2:30.

For more information and to pre-register for workshops, contact Monica at 250-338-1444 or drumdeva@gmail.com. Drums (djembe and dun) available for $5 rental charge if pre-ordered.