Kasey 'CaveMan' Jones
Kasey “CaveMan” Jones began as a multi-instrumentalist and musician in his early teens. He first discovered West African music and the Djembe while attending a drum circle being hosted by Bill Scheidt of then, Living Rhythms, back in 2007. Discovering an inner passion for drumming, Kasey has been an aspiring Djembefola ever since. Having attended lessons and workshops from many masters of West African music, he completed Bill’s Drummer Instructor Training course in 2013 to become a Certified Associate Instructor with Tam Tam Mandingue Winston Salem, and later a Beginner Djembe Instructor for Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy. Kasey currently resides in Floyd, VA where he can be found orchestrating drum circles, teaching workshops, classes and giving private lessons in the local community through the HoloRhythm Community Drum School founded in 2013. The CaveMan can also be seen up and down the east coast at music festivals teaching workshops and facilitating drum circles throughout the year.
Kasey can be contacted at (336) 624-2237, or by email at HoloRhythm@gmail.com. Learn about current events and ongoing classes HERE
"Interestingly, I always enjoyed listening to music, but wasn’t drawn to playing an instrument until around 17 when my father bought for me to pass time, a $7 keyboard from a yard sale. This was the beginning of an intense discovery of musicianship, learning to play to varying degrees: piano, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, violin, harmonica, didgeridoo, flutes, etc. But with each instrument, there was a feeling of dissatisfaction, feeling like something was missing, until I discovered the djembe, and the Music of West Africa!
One night, my ears heard this strange sound coming from some remote corner of a street festival I was attending. Walking through a little shop into a back patio in the middle of Downtown Winston-Salem, NC, I discovered an ongoing drum circle. There was good cheer, joy, smiling faces and inviting hands gesturing me towards an empty seat where a drum was waiting to be played. I fell in love, and sensed there was something more to this “Djembe,” as they called it. The drum circle facilitators informed the crowd that they were teaching classes at this location, and so began my life with the Djembe. The school, then called Living Rhythms, was headed under a man named Bill Scheidt, who eventually became a Senior Certified Teacher of a branch of an international school called Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy (TTMDA), created by world-renowned master drummer Mamady Keïta. Having an interesting experience one night while participating in a drum circle, where: my djembe, the center of the earth, the universe itself, and myself were one big toroidal field inspired me to bring drumming to the forefront of my life, and into the lives of others. Months later, I began Bill Scheidt’s Drummer Instructor Training (DIT) program, an intensive two year program (at that time) where the foundations of West African music were taught. Completing DIT in 2013 to become a Certified Associate Instructor (CAI) of TTMWS, and later becoming a Djembe Instructor of TTMDA. Fueled by the desire to share what has been passed down, through time and space, HoloRhythm Community Drum School was founded."
Mamady Keïta is a grand master of the djembe and one of the world’s most well-known and respected djembefolas. (Djembefola is the Malinké word for “djembe player”. It literally means
“one who plays the djembe.”)
A grandmaster of the djembe and a legendary figure considered by peers and students worldwide, Mamady was also regarded as the djembe ambassador to the world because of his reach to every part of the globe and his award winning documentary ‘Djembefola’ which transpire the djembe into an instrument that is seen in every musical context today.
To learn more about Mamady Keïta visit:
Bill Scheidt picked up an African drum for the first time more than 20 years ago, having studied a variety of Western instruments from age five. Since then he has traveled to Africa six times, spent more than a year and a half living in rural African villages, and studied percussion at Berklee College of Music. Today he is the Director of Tam Tam Mandingue Winston-Salem.
Bill is a close personal student of Mamady Keïta, and a certified Professor in Mamady’s international school of the djembe, Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy (TTMDA).
Bill has spent the last several years traveling throughout the U.S. and to Guinea studying traditional music with his teacher. Bill was among the first group of students to ever perform on stage with Mamady Keïta in the U.S. and in his home village of Balandougou, in Guinea, West Africa.
Learn more about Bill's school at http://ttmws.com/.
Robin “Bountourabi” Leftwich 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.
Robin “Bountourabi” Leftwich
Forrest “Fodé” Matthews
Forrest “Fodé” Matthews began studying West African music in 2003, at the age of 11 and is a close student of Fode Lavia Camara. Forrest has traveled to Guinea twice, spending a total of 6 months living and training with the artists of Ballet Gbassikolo du Kaloum as well as organizing and performing in the KALOUM DJEMBE Festival with Fode Lavia. He has also studied extensively with Bolokada Conde, Aly Camara, Mohamed DaCosta, Abdoulaye “Felu” Kouyate, Mohamed Dioubate, Mamady Keïta and Bill Scheidt of the TTM Djembe Academy.
Forrest has attended the Kumandi African Drum and Dance Camp, in the NC mountains, since 2003 and is now on the teaching staff for both djembe and dunun. He is a core member of the Living Rhythms and Sewa Beats teams based in Winston Salem, regularly traveling and delivering programs in schools and companies all over the country.
Gratitude & Homage
The above mentioned:
Mamady Keita, Bill Scheidt, Robin “Bountourabi” Leftwich, and Forrest Fode Matthews.
Other equally noteworthy teachers who've taught me to a lesser degree:
Aly Camara, Bolokada Conde, Mohamed DaCosta, Fode Lavia Camara, Amo Damas, Michael Taylor, and Atiba Rorie.
I have also to thank these great teachers for sharing knowledge on the construction and repair of the djembe:
Shorty Palmer, Robin “Bountourabi” Leftwich, Forrest Fode Matthews, Tom Harris, Amo Damas, Bolokada Conde, Chris Blalock and Justin Hundrieser.
I can only express my gratitude in its entirety by passing the torch on in my work to my students. Thank you to all who came before!