The leader of the Afro-Caribbean program at the Wula Retreat is Baba Richard Gonzalez. We've been lucky to have him teaching at the Retreat for many years. His classes include many different Afro-Diasporic dances, including Cuban, Haitian, and Puerto Rican.Read More
We're very excited to announce that we are bringing our production director from Guinea, Yamoussa Sylla, to help people build, tune, and fix drums at the Retreat. There are times listed on the schedule for Drum Making/Drum Tuning when Yambig will be available in the Dining Hall.Read More
We are thrilled to bring Senegal into the West African mix at the Retreat. We are lucky to have a highly respected teacher of this style with us, Marie Basse Wiles. Watch this interview for the New York Public Library Digital Collections to really get an understanding of where Marie is coming from, and how lucky we are to get a chance to study with her.Read More
For many years, retreaters have enjoyed learning the Ghanaian Gyil from one of the foremost Gyil experts in the Western world. We've all seen her jaw-dropping performances at the Saturday Night Concert each year at the Retreat, and we all know her insane resume: playing weekly on Saturday Night Live, Broadway shows, film scores, teaching at New York University, and so much more.
During all this commercial work, she finds time to write, record, and perform the music she is passionate about as well. As one of the top percussionists around, Valerie is a great role model for women and girls in music. In this interview - from her website mandaramusic.com - Valerie discusses her teachers in West Africa, and being a women in the drumming business.Read More
At the Wula Drum and Dance Retreat, we get all the best teachers in one place for 4 days of drumming and dancing! In recent years we have expanded our scope to include Brazilian drum and dance, and we are so lucky to have one of the best Brazilian dance teachers to show you how to move.Read More
M'Bemba is constantly traveling to teach drum and dance around the world, and we are so lucky to be able to get him for the Wula Retreat each year!
So what does a M'Bemba Bangoura Residency look like? From our friends at Sege Drum and Dance in Costa Rica, here is a great video of M'Bemba's most recent residency as a teacher there.Read More
A great interview from our friends at Djembefola.com!
"My mama was a very famous dancer. She explained to me all the rhythm names, why people play the rhythms... She wanted me to be a djembefola... I learned the djembe like this... She took me to all the djembe performances... she took me to meet all the djembefolas in different villages."
World class percussionist Shane Shanahan is a member of the renowned, Grammy-Nominated Silk Road Ensemble. Led by Yo-Yo Ma (one of the world's greatest cellists), the ensemble tours around the world, bringing people of different cultures and languages together through the power of music. This is exactly the purpose of the Wula Drum and Dance Retreat, and we are happy to have Shane teaching with us!Read More
Check out the faculty page for more information on two massage therapists available to you throughout the weekend: Roberta Evans and Jill Galman. Both are highly trained and have experience working with drummers and dancers. You may make appointments with them at the Retreat.Read More