Sabbey international drummers


Sabbey International Drummers are a group of traditional drummers, dancers and singers from the Ga tribe of Southern Ghana. Their music takes traditional rhythms, chants and dances from their own tradition and those of a variety of other West African cultures, rearranging them in a modern and accessible way. Ideal for festivals, carnivals, street performances or village halls, Sabbey are one of the top traditional African groups in the country.

Since 2010, Sabbey have toured the UK , working with a wide variety of festivals, arts centres and local authorities. The recent addition of a strong dance element, to complement the already outstanding drumming and singing components, has established Sabbey as the leading African traditional group in the UK, with the leading Ga singers, drummers and dancers among their number.

Seen live, they show culture as it is meant to be celebrated, breaking down the barriers between audience and performers by encouraging the active participation of the people in the celebration, whether on the drums, chanting or dancing. Recorded music is all very well, but with traditional music and dance the measure of the performance is in the involvement of the people in the spirit of the occasion. Sabbey music combines traditional drumming grooves played on a wide variety of West African drums with melodies from bamboo flutes, xylophone and traditional chants sung in six part harmony, the quality of which sets them above most dance-led traditional African groups.

The group have developed a particularly strong educational dimension, whereby they visit local schools or youth & community centres in the week running up to a performance to teach a few simple rhythms, chants and dances. They then invite the children along to the final performance, where they join in with a final communal finalé, demonstrating what they have learned during the week. As well as fulfilling an important outreach and therefore marketing role for the performance, it also facilitates an all-important participatory component that helps generate the sense of community that is the inherent function of music and dance in traditional societies.

GBUnited Kingdom
In operation since: 


ishmael Sackey

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