African Drum and Dance Retreat





The Magbana Drumming Retreat was held at Iroquois Springs in Rock Hill, New York.

The Magbana African Drum and Dance Retreat was an absolutely fabulous experience!  We recommend it to anyone who loves to drum!!  Most importantly Magbana values serious practice of music and dance.

We arrived Friday evening, found our cabin, explored the Retreat area and unloaded our drums and other belongings.   Shortly after arriving we threw our drums over our shoulders and made our way to our first Djembe drum class with Michael Markus (the founder of Magbana), and the 'beginner' class.    We quickly learned about the structure of classes, the roles of the various drums - djembes, doundounbas, songbas and kenkenis, rhythms and time, as how everything fits together.

Dance class started Friday night right after Drum class and we eagerly joined the class.   The Dancing was taught by Yousseff Koumbassa, the man responsible for bringing West African Dance to America.  Needless to say, it was a bit advanced and after one exciting class, we needed to rest our bodies!

We spent Day two taking a beginner Djembe drum class with Michael again and then a beginner Doundounba class with Michael.   In the afternoon we had the privledge of taking a beginner drum class with M'bemba Bangoura - wow!!  We really enjoyed the many things we learned and the patience of our teachers.

Saturday evening Magbana performed for us and everyone had a great time dancing, watching and listening to the fabulous music.

Sunday was another day of Drumming and Dancing.   In particular  we learned to dance with the Doundounbas while we played them.  This was so freeing and fun!

Magbana will have another retreat next year in addition to their regularly scheduled trips to Africa!   It is definately worth checking it out!!



Accomodations included either dormitory style cabins or private cabins.


Of course there were tons of drums above is a snapshot of a couple Doundounbas, Songbas, and Kenkenis



Another treat!   An array of beautiful fabric, indigo cloth, CDs, Jewelry and clothing for sale.


If you would like more information about Magbana visit thier website or send an email to


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