#140 Weedie Braimah- Djembeföla, Educator and More!
Weedie Braimah is a young premiere master of the djembe. He began his career at the early age of two, born in Ghana, where he was first introduced to West African culture and drumming. In East St. Louis, which is considered home for Braimah, he began his life long quest and professional career in the study of cultural music of the diasporas. A maverick performer of the highest caliber, Braimah has an almost insatiable knack to draw the entire audience into his grove, zigzagging through Africa on a breathtaking rhythmic roller coaster.
Braimah comes from a long lineage of musicians; including his mother, a respected jazz drummer and his father, a world renowned composer and master drummer. Having studied with the greats such as Mamady Keita, Famadou Konate, Abdoul Doumbia, and Fadouba Oulare just to name a few, it was no surprise that Braimah excelled musically and became well known on the drum and dance circuit. Braimah has been a performer, teacher and preserver of African culture for over 20 years and continues to peruse new musical journeys every day.
Educational spotlight for this week…..
Marcos is playing with Sammy Figueroa at Smoke Jazz Club in NYC Tues (the 3rd) and Wed (the 4th). Saturday (the 7th) Marcos is playing with Jeremy Bosch (along with other friends of the show) at Rockwood Music Hall. The 25th he will be at Fat Cat with the Powell Brothers.
Damon will be playing at Cisco Brewery on Nantucket Sept 23rd and 24th with Ken Freeman. Then Rockwood Music Hall on the 29th with April Kry.
Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st, Eric Clapton hosts his Crossroads Guitar Festival.
Sept 22nd at the Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield, CT, friend of the show, Carter McLean will be playing with Charlie Hunter.
Charlie Hunter and Lucy Woodward will be opening for Snarky Puppy in Europe. (Friend of the show) Keita Ogawa will be pulling double duty playing with both Charlie and Snarky.
Sept 13th the Torres Family (and friends) will be playing at Murphy’s Law in Bridgeport, CT.
Bonus article on why you should GO SEE LIVE MUSIC, even if you aren’t playing.
Product review for this week…..
Kat Percussion comes out with some new midi instruments like the Mallet Kat 8. Damon couldn’t think of Nick Werth, Nate’s brother. He mistakenly said hw was playing the Mallet Kat, and in fact was playing the Pearl Mallet Station
Music News for this week……
8 Tips for mixing an entire album so it sounds consistent. MTV Video Music Awards Hit an All-Time Ratings Low — for the Third Straight Year. Disney Gets a Surprise at Its D23 Expo: Musicians Demanding Better Pay. The 30 best films about music, chosen by musicians. Lastly, Netflix Announces Start Date for ‘Rhythm + Flow’ featuring Chance the Rapper, Cardi B, and T.I.
The song leading into the interview is “Koredjuga” by Kreative Pandemonium.
Weedie and his partner, Talise Campell, lead a retreat in Africa each year and the official dates and info will be posted soon. This coming January 2020 Weedie will be taking a group to Mali and Senegal. The group Weedie leads is in partnership with the Djapo Cultural Arts Institute.
Weedie talks about the traditional Djembe ensemble.
You can see how the traditional drums have been grouped together in the various kits Weedie explains by seeing his group, The Hands of Time at the Blue Note in NYC Oct 1st & 2nd.
Marcos and Weedie shout-out some of the percussion players who have had to play a multitude of percussion instruments as opposed to specializing in just one instrument (i.e. percussionist vs. conguero). Some of those players named are Bashiri Johnson, Daniel De Los Reyes, Bill Summers, Doc Gibbs, Munyungo Jackson, and more!
Weedie talks about the importance of learning from the elders, and then your job is to help make the path easier for the next generation. ALSO, the importance of showing what a trained percussion player can add to the music. Finding a band for your sound and skills is another part of being a trained musician. That band should respect you as a human being AND a musician.
Some of the salsa percussionists mentioned for helping to carve the path are Tito Puente, Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez, Marc Quinones, Bobby Allende, Giovanni Hidalgo, Anthony Carillo, Pedrito Martinez & Jhair Sala.
Weedie, Damon and Marcos all express their appreciation for Alain Perez and his group.
Weedie reveals that Idris Muhammed is his Great Uncle.
Weedie and Marcos talk about Bombon (Roelvis Reyes) and his ability to play the groove and insert vocabulary as a quinto player would do.
Weedie mentions playing with the Nth Power in the “Jam Band” scene.
Magatte Sow is a friend of Weedie and plays with Angelique Kidjo. He also recorded on the Black Panther soundtrack. Damon is instigating getting Weedie involved in the soundtrack for Black Panther 2.
Damon, Weedie and Marcos also discuss the importance of educating sound professionals (politely) about how the instruments sound and how to capture that sound correctly. Also, possibly bringing your own mics and mixer. If you sound better, the band will sound better which will result in a better experience for the audience.
The song leading out of the interview is called “Soti” by Bill Laurance.