Master teachers are brought to Humboldt County to share knowledge on West African drum and dance


For about 30 years the Arcata West African Drum and Dance has been connecting master teachers from all over the world to share their knowledge in drum and dance in Humboldt County.

“It’s changed my life in a lot of ways,” said Raquel Evans a community facilitator. “It’s been pretty pivotal in my life. I was really inspired by the tradition and how this community and the drum and the dance bring people together.”

The Arcata West African Drum and Dance community hosts three classes a week on Tuesdays and Sundays at the Humboldt Light Opera. All are welcome to attend. 

The proceeds of each class go towards masters of the sounds and rhythms that are brought to teach people the West African culture. The master teachers come from all over the world to contribute their experiences and knowledge of drum or dance. This past Sunday, Arcata West African Dance and Drum welcomed Jembefola Bolokada Conde to share his knowledge of Malinke music and folklore. The next upcoming class is this Sunday starting at 3 p.m. at Humboldt Light Opera.

“It’s one of the things that makes you want to exert yourself in that way because there’s so much energy around the drums and the community,” said Heather Plaza a community facilitator. “It’s like nothing else that I’ve experienced that can get you feeling really high in a really natural way within your body and really get you to know your body and relation to music and moving with other people.”

To find out times and class prices, follow Arcata West African Drum and Dance on Facebook or Instagram.