"African flute, balafon, djembe and dunun drums, bolon, and more combine in these skillfully crafted renditions of traditional Mandinka rhythms and songs, from Guinea, West Africa. A percussive, melodic, and upbeat journey into African music."
The Black Bear Moon Rhythm Ensemble was founded by artist and musician Dave Kobrenski in 2001 in New Hampton, NH. Kobrenski, an accomplished musician, artist, and educator, studied traditional Mande music styles in Guinea, West Africa, with master musicians such as Famoudou Konaté, Nansady Keita, and other drummers of the region, over a six-year period of yearly sojouns into the Malinké heartland in the Hamanah region of Guinea. Kobrenski also studied the tambin (know also as the fulani flute, a type of African flute) extensively with a master of the Malinké flute tradition, Lanciné Condé.
Kobrenski’s passion for music and culture led him to realize that part of his life’s work is in preserving the musical and cultural traditions of indigenous peoples. He has been teaching West African drumming and dance with partner Kerri Biller to students of all ages since 1998, performs regularly with the BBM Rhythm Ensemble, and has been featured on Public Radio.
The Black Bear Moon Rhythm Ensemble currently consists of Dave Kobrenski, Kerri Biller, Audrey Garretson, Doug Santaniello, Keith Doran, Alexis Eynon, and Loa Bersen. Alexis Katchmar performed with the group from 2002 - 2006
The Black Bear Moon Rhythm Ensemble’s performances feature the tight rhythm work and earthy traditional West African grooves for which they are becoming known throughout the northeast. The group’s uplifting performances combine a timeless sense of spirit and musical adventure with a deep respect and understanding for the musical form and the tradition from which it comes.