WomanSpirit Weekend of Drum & Song

The WomanSpirit Weekend of Drum & Song is a women’s only music & spirituality retreat that is being held in Black Mountain, NC from Sept. 2 – 4, 2016.

The purpose of the retreat is to bring women together for a shared experience in music, song, sisterhood, nature, and spiritual growth. No experience is needed.  Call ahead for information on drum rentals ($10 for the weekend).

Grey Eagle LodgeParticipants will stay at the beautiful Camp Rockmont (many of you know this as the location of the annual Lake Eden Arts Festival).  All participants will stay together in one great lodge.  There is an option of tent camping, but the price does not change.  The facility is NOT handicap accessible.  We apologize, but this is out of our control.

Participation in the retreat does NOT include additional services at Camp Rockmont such as swimming, kayaking, or canoeing. Participants are free to hike, enjoy the fire pit, and play tennis.

The maximum number of participants for this event is 30.


Grey Eagle Lodge (reserved for the retreat) at Camp Rockmont, 375 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC



The schedule for the retreat is as follows (subject to reasonable changes):

1-4 PM           Check-in, Meet & Greet, Explore
4-5:30PM       All levels drumming with Bountourabi
6-7PM            Supper
7-8:30PM       Singing with Shelley Graff
8:30-9:30PM  Opening Circle
10PM             Quiet Time
11PM             Lights Out

8-9 AM          Breakfast
9:30-11AM     All levels drumming with Bountourabi
11-12PM        Community Art Project / Free Time
12-1PM          Lunch
1:30-3PM       Dununs with Ann Lovell
3-4PM             Free Time to Enjoy Nature / Nap / Read
4-5:30PM       Singing with Shelley Graff
6-7PM             Supper
7:30-9PM       Sharing Time (stories,songs,poems,etc)
9-9:45PM       Trance Dance
9:45-10:30      Meditative Drumming
11PM              Lights Out

8-9AM             Breakfast
9:30-10:30      Drumming with Bountourabi & Ann Lovell
10:30-11:45    Singing & Closing Circle
11:30-12:30    Lunch
1PM                 Check-out


Click here to Register online before June 21st to get the early bird rate of $260
Ticket price increases to $275 after 6/21.
PayPal accepted during online registration. There is a fee of 2.9% + $ .30 for using PayPal. You do not need to print off the tickets from the registration website, but you will be required to present an ID at check-in. Check payments must clear at least 45 days prior to the event.

Who are Ann, Bountourabi, and Shelley?

ann-lovell-headshotjpgAnn Lovell
A 2012 graduate of the TTM-WS Drum Instructor Training, Ann is a Certified Assistant Instructor teaching and performing in Western North Carolina. Her West African drum studies began in 2001 with Tiani Tarr and continued in Asheville with Bolokada Conde from Guinea and Adama Dembele from the Ivory Coast. She has also attended workshops with Mamady Keita, Famadou Konate, Ubaka Hill, Edwina Tyler and continues to study with Bill Scheidt in Winston-Salem.

In 2006, Ann co-founded the women’s drumming troupe Wild Bodema which performs at community gatherings, schools, churches, senior centers and private events in the Asheville area. In addition to drumming, Wild Bodema’s performances include song, dance and audience participation. Ann currently teaches beginner & intermediate djembe and dunun classes in Asheville, serves as musical director for Wild Bodema, and facilitates drum circles. A retired IT professional and School Psychologist with a love of dogs, drumming and dancing, Ann’s unique background provides a platform for her goal of changing the world – one drummer at a time. 828-280-5272. Email drumming@wildbodema.com or visit WildBodema on facebook.

Robin playing dununRobin “Bountourabi” Leftwich
Robin has been a student of West African art and culture for over 25 years. Her three trips to Guinea, West Africa have given her a unique and authentic perspective on the role of the djembe in African ceremonies, celebrations, and everyday life.

Bountou’s combined experiences and training have allowed her to become known as a very respected and knowledgeable teacher. She has a special talent for sharing her love of the djembe and African culture with students of all levels. In 2010, Bountou co-founded Happy Beat Drumming with Rachel Juren. Since that time, she has traveled throughout the Southeast teaching drumming, drum-building, performing, consulting, and providing workshops.

Bountou has studied in Guinea with Fode Moussa Camara and various teachers from the Gbassikolo Ballet. She has also studied with Aly Camara, Mohammed Decosta, Bolokada Conde, Nansady Keita, Famoudou Konate, Mamady Keita, John Scalici, Jim Donovan, Ubaka Hill, Bill Scheidt, and Tom Harris. Additionally, Bountou is a graduate of the Therapeutic Drumming Instructor Training program with Tom Harris.

The sum of Bountou’s philosophy is, “When I learn, I learn to give away, not to keep. This isn’t a great secret to hold onto, it’s a tradition meant to be shared. May I forever find myself to be of service to the djembe.”

Robin may be reached at bountou@happybeatdrumming.com or (336) 813-8110. www.happybeatdrumming.com.

shelleygraff_medium.gifShelley Graff
Shelley Graff, a feminist singer, songwriter, guitarist, and Singing In Sacred Circle facilitator, has been sharing her songs with audiences during the past twenty-one years. Her folksy, personable approach to performing and facilitating Singing In Sacred Circle workshops, draw her audiences down a path of political inquiry, peace, healing, and transformation. Whether she is sharing her music at political events, women’s conferences, coffeehouses, or music festivals, Shelley charms her way into her listeners’ hearts!

In August of 2010, Shelley released her third CD, Coming Home. Coming Home includes many new songs and chants as well as songs that Shelley has written over the past twenty years. The Coming Home CD starts with a spoken word piece called “Hope” and continues with songs/chants rich with women’s voices as well as, on some pieces, accompaniment of guitar, piano, flute, and cello. As one might expect, there are many women’s voices on this CD. The following women, who Shelley calls her Amazing Spirit Sisters, lovingly added their soulsounds to this recording: Ruth Barrett, Amy Carol Webb, Kathy Crocco, dorrie andermills, Lee Hoffman, Leslie Bevans, Cherie Ackerson, Rachel Alexander, Elizabeth Bolen, Jennifer Powers, Linda Smith Koehler and Women With Wings, the Columbus Singing In Sacred Circle, and the Cincinnati Singing In Sacred Circle. The amazing and inspiring Mary Southard shared her beautiful artwork on the CD cover as well on the back of the Coming Home CD.

For more information please call (336) 880-3536. Leave a message for Rachel if no answer.

Hosted by Happy Beat Drumming, Ann Lovell, & Sue Ellen Myers