How to Play African Drums with Wula Drum

Learn about musicians Michael Markus, Hasan Bakr, M'bemba Bangoura, and Famaro Dioubate of Wula Drum in this Howcast video.

Hello, everyone. My name is Michael Markus. I’m the president and co-founder of Wula Drum. I started off as a percussionist. I grew up playing drum set. My teacher was half Cuban, and he inspired me to play congas. From the conga, I came to the djembe from West Africa.

And when I moved to New York, I met the most amazing musicians from West Africa who inspired me to learn the traditional folkloric music from West Africa. I fell in love with the djembe, so everything I did started to become about the djembe. And we formed our organization called Wula Drum.

Wula is a Susu word which means ‘deep in the forest where the good wood is’, and it inspires us to make beautiful, high quality percussion instruments. But we also believe in having programming where we can teach the people how to play the drums. So here in New York we have an entourage of the best drum and dance teachers. We work with all ages. We provide educational materials.

And in Guinea, West Africa, we make drums with our team of master carvers, and we try to create the best scenario for them to give them sustainable income and enable these wonderful instruments to give people inspiration to learn the music.

If you’d like to find out more about what we do, please visit us online at wuladrum.com. You can see our events. You can see our beautiful drums. And, hopefully, you’ll participate in making some more music together.

I hope you guys enjoyed this video series. As a non-African person, I’ve fallen in love with this music, and I hope you fall in love with this music. And I just want to say that music is for everyone, and if you practice and practice you can learn anything you want to learn.