Planet Djembe is a Tucson based group dedicated to performing and promoting traditional West African Percussion. This ancient music comes from countries like Mali, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and Burkina Faso. Great teachers like Mamady Keita, Famadou Konate, and others have brought the music and dance of these countries to the west through tours and classes over the last thirty years or so.

The legend is that the rhythms originated from women singing while they were working – doing things like planting seed, harvesting, grinding grain, and such. The dances and songs they used eventually evolved into drum rhythms and over the centuries evolved to what they are today.

In Africa, these rhythms are played at community gatherings where everybody, young and old, gets in on the dancing, drumming, and singing and they often continue for many hours, even days.

The instruments consist of three Dununs, named the Dununba (large), Sangban (medium), and Kenkeni (small) and then several Djembe drums. Each drum has a specific part the fits with all the other parts to make the rhythm. The drumming uses these complex polyrhythmic parts that interconnect to produce an entrancing, exciting, and propulsive beat that really makes you want to move. Modern styles like Rock 'N Roll, R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Hip Hop are built on the foundation of these beats from Mother Africa.

We are delighted to respectfully carry forward this great tradition with our own interpretation and contribution.

Mamady taught us that the music of the djembe is the music of joy and when you hear it you'll surely feel plenty of joy and your feet and body will want to dance!

Meet the Band

Scott Futrell  - Bruce Stanley - Kelly Jungers - Sinde Rubiner - Joe Townend