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Balimaya Project workshops

Live in the library, Poplar union, free gigs in London, Friday night, what to do near me
Live in the library, Poplar union, free gigs in London, Friday night, what to do near me

Workshops with Yahael Camara Onono and the Balimaya Project members bring you closer to the influences of this electrifiying new London group. Learn and practice Djembe, Dounoun, Talking Drum (Nigeria) and singing from the Mandé peoples from Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast before the performance that ties these influences with the sounds of the capital.


12.30pm-1.30pm: Djembe (please bring instrument) – In Betty

1.45pm-2.45pm: Dounoun (instruments provided) – In Betty

3pm-4pm: Talking-Drum (instruments provided) – In Betty

4.15pm-5.15pm: Singing workshop with Kora – In Mike

Select the workshops you wish to attend. Book all 4 workshops for £30 – just add the ‘course’ to your basket.

There will be a live performance from the Balimaya Project members in the evening. Find out more here.

About Yahael

Yahael was born in North West London to Nigerian and Senegalese parents. Despite being born in the UK and growing up in inner city London for most of his life, he had an affinity for his folkloric music from a very young age. He received his first talking drum at the age of 6 from his grandfather, and later started playing the djembe at the age of 8. Though he grew up in Harlesden, he was given the gift of an open mind through travel at an early age; he spent a long time in South America and West Africa before coming back to attend secondary school in London.

By the age of 15 he was already a well-known young djembe player in the UK, playing for naming ceremonies and teaching classes in cultural dance and music, in and outside of the county. As he grew into adulthood, he realised that the passion for music didn’t leave him and made the decision to leave university in order to pursue his musical career. Being a true child of the diaspora, his playing style has always been steeped in folklore. He also had a knack for using his cultural instruments in different genres, and has become sought-after in the London scene thanks to his musical versatility.

Balimaya is an accurate expression of how Yahael feels and expresses his musical journey. There is a story and meaning behind every piece, and homage is paid to his cultural roots throughout the music. In this journey, he has endeavoured to make space within the folklore to add, enrich and give new depth to the music, and to include the voices of the many communities that have guided him along the way.