West African
Drumming Workshops

Our History With African Drumming

“Born near Bristol, Richard (aka Rich) has been drumming for longer than he can remember, but had a total “road to Damascus” moment in the late 1990s, when he attended a djembe workshop led by Magatte Dieng, from Senegal, in Leicester. He was so inspired by Magatte’s playing that he journeyed by himself in 1999 to Essau, Gambia, to study djembe and sabar drumming with another Senegalese master, Samba Coumba Ngom.

Visiting Africa

That first visit to Africa literally changed his life, along with his whole outlook and direction. On his return, Rich set up the partnership Beats Working, teaching and performing traditional rhythms to initially a small number of his enthusiastic drum students, but also very soon after in schools and community groups. Another study tour to Gambia followed in 2000, again under the tutelage of Samba Ngom, but then by chance at a UK music conference he met Ken Patterson (4 Corners Music Network), who told him about Wamde, a drumming and dance troupe led by Moussougnouma (“Mama”) Kouyat√© in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Rich Rhythms Was Born

He applied for funding for a project (On The Line – Millennium Awards) linking Burkina Faso with the UK, and much to his surprise his application was successful, and so in 2001 made the first of what would turn out to be four annual solo “expeditions” to study traditional djembe drumming under Salifou Ouedraogo at Wamde. In 2004, he left the Beats Working partnership and moved to Margate, where he set up on his own as Rich Rhythms, continuing to teach and perform djembe and sabar drumming in all manner of educational and community settings, and also playing congas alongside DJs at club events.”
Multiple drums in a school hall


Drumming Workshops For Schools

West African drumming is suitable for everyone regardless of musical knowledge. In fact, you do not need any previous musical knowledge at all.

During the drumming demonstrations, lessons or workshops, Richard Latham, the owner and organiser of Rich Rhythms, will provide everyone with a djembe drum and take participants through simple and more more complex rhythms.

You will be surprised at the end result and how much you enjoyed getting there!


Drum Repairs

1.. Tuning – This will always breathe life into a tired and slack sounding skin, at the client’s risk of course. Provided it doesn’t break under tuning it will sound much better, but the life expectancy of the skin is invariably (and unpredictably) shortened.
2… Reskinning – A new skin is supplied, fitted, and tuned up to playing pitch using no other new materials (ie the original rope/twine etc).
3… Rebuilding – (Rich’s recommended and most popular service) A new skin is supplied, fitted, and tuned up to playing pitch using all new twine, the rings are rustproofed, and new cloth and knots fitted throughout. “
Four West African Drums After Repairs