Special Events

West African Drumming Workshops with Aly Camara & Marietou Cisse

Aly Camara Marietou Cisse West African drummer dancer
Aly Camara & Marietou Cisse classes 6/22–24

“Yele Nous Bere – Laughing and Playing!”

June 22 – 24, 2018 in Cary & Raleigh, NC


7:30-9pm – Introduction to West African Drumming
Fundamentals of Djembe and Dununs (other instruments too!) and a History of West African Music and our Teachers). While this is geared towards beginners, all levels are welcome! Intermediate students will be given the opportunity to play dunun. And, you won’t want to miss out on the discussion and stories!

LOCATION: Homestead Drumming
206 Homestead Drive, Cary, NC 27513

Saturday and Sunday classes are generally geared more towards the intermediate level; maybe a push for some beginners (but doable) and just right for intermediate levels. There will be additional challenging bits and pieces for the more experienced players. All levels are welcome to join the classes to laugh and play!

9:00am – Registration / Sign In
9:15am – 10:45am – Djembe Class – all levels class!
11:00am – 12:30pm – Dunun Class – all levels class!

12:30pm – 1:45pm – Lunch
We encourage you to bring your lunch and eat at the church. We can also order something to be delivered. There are several eating establishments near the church but an hour and fifteen minutes might be challenging to get back in time for afternoon classes.

1:45pm – 3:15pm — Percussive Dance Class – all levels class!
3:30pm – 5:00pm – Ballet Dunun Class – all levels class!

LOCATION: Community United Church Of Christ
814 Dixie Trail Raleigh, NC 27607

7:00pm-until – Party at Karen Casey’s House
Pot luck – bring a dish to share if you are able and whatever you want to drink.

LOCATION: Karen and Arlen House
309 Butler Road, Durham, NC 27703

1:00pm-2:30pm Krin Class – all levels class!
3:00pm-4:30pm Performance Class (putting it all together)
This is a class that puts all the parts from a rhythm learned in earlier classes together (djembe, dunun, ballet dunun, etc). It is NOT a requirement to attend all earlier classes though it is geared to those that did. All are welcome and will get to participate in this amazing class!!!

LOCATION: Homestead Drumming
206 Homestead Drive, Cary, NC 27513


  • $20 per class (7 classes available) or
  • $70 if you take all 4 Saturday classes or
  • $120 if you take all 7 classes
Registration for Aly & Marietou's classes
After submitting this online registration, please choose from the dropdown and click the "add to cart" button below this form to pay online. Paying in advance helps Registration go smoothly on the day of the event. If you prefer to pay at the door, please bring correct change or make your check payable to "Happy Beat Drumming".
Pay online

Workshop Options


Mike Long at Homestead Drumming
(919) 889-5159

Karen Casey
(919) 724-2340

For more information: Call Robin at 336-813-8110 or bountou@happybeatdrumming.com

Signature Artists Series

We are honored to provide an opportunity for students to experience learning from local and traveling artists of distinction. Our Signature Series is dedicated to bringing the best artists to our own backyard for the enrichment of our students and our local community.

Past featured teachers and performers:

Drummer Aly Camara Dancer Marietou Cisse West African percussion bandAly Camara & Marietou Cisse taught a series of djembe, dunun, percussive dance, and krin workshops in High Point and Raleigh / Durham in the fall of 2017.

Aly is an energetic and fun teacher who brings a wealth of talent, experience and knowledge garnered from his time as lead drummer for Les Merveilles de Guinea. He has been very musical since he was a small child and has mastered a number of traditional instruments to include djembe, dunun, krin, and gongoma. Aly is a highly sought after teacher and leads the advanced class at the African Drum and Dance camp in Little Switzerland.

Aly created the drum and dance camp SaMato and provides artistic direction for the Atlanta based Sewe Village.

Mande Strings Cradle of Jazz Project Mali musicians tour

Kokanko Sata Doumbia, Lamine Soumano and Assaba Dramé delivered a modern exploration of the traditional stringed music of Mali, West Africa in October 2016. An exquisite demonstration of both modern and traditional Malian sounds, the Strings Showcase features guitar, kora, vocals, and two Malian ngoni styles – the lute-styled jeli ngoni, and the harp styled kamelen “youth” ngoni. A collaboration with The Cradle of Jazz Project. Proceeds of the concert support this semester’s exchange, plus the endowment of an annual semester abroad for these Malian artist children. For more information, visit the Cradle of Jazz’s website.

Monette Marino on djembe

Monette Marino, solo artist, world percussionist and teacher for over 25 years. She taught Cuban and West African drumming classes in June 2016 for us in Durham. Learn about her iPhone app for drummers on Monette’s website.

Forrest “Fode” Matthews had just returned from a two month trip to Guinea, West Africa when he taught in February 2016. Full of stories, rhythms and information to share!

Greg Ince, drummer and educator

Greg Ince, professional West African drummer with more than three decades of experience teaching African drumming and dancing in schools across the US.

Khalid Abdul N’Faly Saleem, African music specialist and musical director of Sankofa.

Aly Camara, creator of the drum and dance camp SaMato and also provides artistic direction for the Atlanta based Sewe Village.

Beverly Botsford, cross-cultural percussionist and educator.

Helen Bond and Fode Camara of Medusa Drums.

Sandy Blocker, accompanist in the Dance Dept. at Elon University.

Atiba Rorie, founder of Africa Unplugged and percussionist.

Bolokada Conde master drummer from West AfricaBolokada Conde, Malinke Djembefola.

Will Ridenour and Sean Gaskell, duet and solo performances on the Kora.

Happy Beat Drumming drums in High Point Christmas Parade
Happy Beat Drumming group in the High Point Christmas Parade