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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Rhythm Retreat Unites Drumming Enthusiasts and Music Educators

The Southeast Women’s Rhythm Retreat, from September 27 to 29, at Hawks Above, is an opportunity for women and teen girls 13 and up to sing, dance and immerse themselves in the study of several genres of percussion while enjoying a weekend of connection and relaxation in nature.

The retreat is co-produced by some of the region’s top educators in West African drumming; Atlanta’s DrumRise, comprised of Amy Jackson and Colleen Caffrey, a certified professor with the Tam Tam Mandingue International Djembe School and North Carolina’s Happy Beat Drumming team, Rachel Juren and Robin “Bountourabi” Leftwich.

Atlanta’s Christan Carter Poret will partner with Leftwich to teach about the relationship between West African drumming and dance, and Apetebii Yeye Olori Oriyomi, best known as “Mama Yeye,” the Sekere Woman of Atlanta. Visiting artist Elaine Fong, founder of Odaiko New England, will teach the Japanese taiko style of drumming, known for its visceral power. Atlanta vocal teaching luminary Elise Witt will lead her signature style of community singing—the Impromptu Glorious Chorus.

The weekend will culminate with the merging of rhythm and voice in a TaKeTiNa moving meditation workshop led by Caffrey and Jackson.

Location: 606 Valley View Ranch Rd., Cloudland, GA. For more information and registration, visit

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