Melbourne Djembe, run by Simon Lewis and Mitzi McRae is a creative company providing instruments, tuition, performances and corporate drumming and dancing experiences.
Adelaide born percussionist Simon Lewis moved to Melbourne in 1994 and has since become well known for his diverse musical skills and innovative teaching style.
Simon was trained in classical percussion at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium of Music and has performed with The State Opera and State Theatre Company of South Australia. After two years of studying for the Associate Diploma of Jazz, Simon moved to Melbourne and began working with a range of Jazz, latin and funk bands. His interest in African drumming grew and in 1999 he received an Australia Council Professional Development Award to study traditional percussion in Guinea West Africa. Simon continues to travel to Africa to study the traditional instruments with the Malinke and Susu people of West Africa.
Simon has performed with many artisists in Australia, Japan, France and in Vienna. He has performed at the Womadelaide festival, Woodforde Festival and many other major Australian festivals. Simon was the Director of Percussion for The Music Collective for ten years where he ran programs for children and adults in West African and world percussion. He has worked in many other schools and community programs as an Artist in Residence and is highly regarded for his work in child music education.
Simons superb skills and knowledge have also extended into the corporate arena and he has been working on a regular basis with AAMI insurance, ERICSON and ANZ Bank at team building seminars and retreats. The seminars have proved highly successful and the results very satisfying. With a wonderful ability to relax and bring people together he has become a workshop facilitator in high demand.
Simon is currently teaching at RhythmNGrooves, Greensborough TAFE, Centre for Adult Education and is a guest teacher for Suzuki School Of Music and The Victorian College of the Arts.
He performs with Le Phat, who recently performed at The Woodforde Folk Festival, ASIKO, led by Senegalese artist Lamine Sonko, The Marabou Project, a collaboration project fusing acoustic and electric African, jazz and trance, and appears with Big Fela, lead by Phil Bywater and who performed recently at the St. Kilda Festival.
Classes will teach you traditional African rhythms, chants and songs, correct technique, solo skills, co-ordination and give students the opportunity to perform at public concerts with the Wassawumba drum and dance ensemble! Wassawumba have appeared at many festivals and community events around Victoria.
Drum Classes (djembe level 1 & 2)
Friday 6.30 – 7.30pm $15
Drum Classes (djembe level 3)
Wednesday 7.30 – 9pm $20
Dun Dun Classes
2-3pm Sundays $20 (all instruments supplied). This class is suitable for beginners and those with a small amount of dun dun experience. You are welcome to stay after this class to play some djembe for the dance class at 3-4pm
African Dance Classes – Mitzi Mcrae
Beginner: Sundays 3-4pm $15 This class is designed for those who are new to dance, young and old. We’ll take it slowly and have some fun!
Intermediate: Wednesdays 6.30-7.30pm $15
All Classes held at Brunswick South Primary School, 56 Brunswick Road, Brunswick.
For information on upcoming events/ classes & camps go to:
Simon 0425753553 and Mitzi 0439334197
These details were last updated on February 25, 2010