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Shannon Holland

Shannon L. Holland is a talented teacher and performer of the djembe traditions of West Africa. He began his study of the djembe thirty years ago at the tender age of 6 and has developed into one of Tennessee’s most talented traditional percussionists.  Shannon was the percussion director of the Global Education Center in Nashville for eighteen years where he created a curriculum, La Voix du Djembe, on The Great Mali Empire and djembe traditions for school residencies and for on-site youth programming at the Center. As part of the Center’s music program, he created and directed a children’s drum ensemble, Les Enfants du Djembe; a teen ensemble, Djembefole; and a professional adult ensemble, NYAMA.

Shannon has studied with some of the greatest African drum masters in the world, including Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate, Bolokada Conde, Alli Sylla, Ladji Camara, Babatunde Olatunje and Madou Dembele, to name a few.  He won a scholarship to the Djembe Institute at the University of North Carolina in 1998 where he studied with twelve master drummers and where he and two of his young students were among four people selected from 165 participants to perform with the masters in the grand finale.  In the summer of 2000 he traveled to Belize as part of a cultural arts exchange, where he and his percussion ensemble studied steel drumming and the African drumming of the Garifuna.  He has also studied extensively with guest artists from Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast and Guinea who have

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