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Djembe Art Quality . . .
Djembé Art Drums, Professional Selection

 

Djembe Art drums
   
are tonely professional and outstanding
 
create joy in playing and bring the rhythm fire to prominence
 
fulfill highest quality expectations and are excellently handcrafted
 
are unique examples, artistically tasteful and decoratively finished
 
. . . unusual and for the exceptional taste
 
20 years of Djembe experience have taught me, that the performance of a Djembe does not only depend on the quality of its components, but especially on the precision of the craftsmanship.
A violin maker hardly needs to point out this influence on his instruments.
We from Djembe Art see our work as a contribution to a better quality understanding about African drums.

Gavin Grosvenor

Our quality demand for our value categories
We have divided our professional drums into six separate value categories from 0 to 5 stars.
This means the more stars, the finer the quality of tone and sound!
The highest category is given five stars.
In the evaluation we take into account:

  • quality of the materials used (wood, cordage, drumskins)
  • handcrafted workmanship
  • tonal quality and resonance of the drum
  • artistic design

Djembé Art Drums, Professional Selection

We specialise in making and marketing professional Djembe drums, and are counted amongst suppliers of the top quality worldwide!
Our drums are unique special examples with excellent tonal qualities.
No mass production.

  • Djembe Art drums cannot be compared with cheap Asian imports or tourist Djembes. Ours are solidly constructed and finished with high quality craftsmanship!
  • The production of a Djembe Art instrument is considerably more work intensive and demanding, with higher material costs than cheap instruments. The craftsmen have to be paid a fair price for their skill. Since we demand high quality, we search amongst the best drums in their countries of origin, to select only the very best quality examples. We test each drum meticulously, work them over regardless of time and cost, and tune them carefully.
  • We deal only with selected drums from those countries producing the best quality: Guinea, Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast! Our only exception are the small childrens Djembes in our basic class which are from Ghana. We decided to include this model amongst our selection since they offer a good compromise: They provide the requirements of a professional tautening system with acceptable tonal quality and the need for a very resonably priced instrument.
Djembé Art fine drums


Our Premium Class 5 Star Quality

Djembé Art 5 Star QualityDjembé Art 5 Star QualityDjembé Art 5 Star QualityDjembé Art 5 Star QualityDjembé Art 5 Star Quality

All Djembe drums in our 5-Star Premium Class are personaly handcrafted by Gavin Grosvenor. All Djembe bodys are carefully selected first class resonant African timbers of highest quality. We meticulously shape the bodies with highest precission. The drumheads are precisely rounded to the millimeter. The outside is highly polished in order to enhance the individual grainstructure and colouring of the wood. We only use premium quality drum skins that are guaranteed to produce the finest tone. The tautening cords are mainly Premium and Dynema. We use specially selected decorative cloth around the tautening rings and lay great care on the harmony of proportions and colours of all materials. Each detail added creates a very special individual masterpice djembe.
Every Premium Djembe is signed by Gavin Grosvenor, has its individual number, the date of its completion, and our name Djembe Art engraved inside the base of the body.
In the past 15 years our Premium Djembes have become collectors items that are internationally highly valued.

Our premium Djembe work of the past 15 years can be viewed on our German website under the following link:
Galerie der Kostbarkeiten
Every Premium Djembe customer receives an individual quality certificate with a detailed description, its number and date of completion. Please compare the photos below.

  • For this category we use specially selected african resonant timbers of the highest quality.
  • The resonant timbers are dryed for at least two years, sometimes up to five years. This makes them extremely durable and hard.
  • In order to achieve the clearest possible tone, the precision of craftsmanship on the interior of the body is essential. We sand the inside of each drum extremely smooth, because any roughness of the surface will interrupt the developement of the sound waves.
  • The exterior is highly polished, oiled and waxed for its protection.
  • We pay special attention to individual decorations, i.e. carvings, drumskin painting, ornamentation, gold application, precious stone inlays etc..

    The following link shows our Premium Class

 

Djembé Art Premium Trommeln

Djembé Art Premium Trommeln

View of the interior of a
5 Star Premium Djembe
made by Gavin Grosvenor from
Jacaranda / Rose Wood
with his original signature
View of the interior of a
5 Star Premium Djembe
made from African Lenké Wood
with the original signature of Gavin Grosvenor
Date of completion and
Djembe Art brandname of a
5 Star Premium Djembe
from Mahogany
Djembé Art fine drums

 

Our Luxury Master Class 4 Star Quality

Djembé Art 4 Star QualityDjembé Art 4 Star QualityDjembé Art 4 Star QualityDjembé Art 4 Star Quality

In this category we import only the top Djembe quality, made by the best Djembe makers from Mali and Guinea.
Each drum is very carefully
selected. Please compare the photos below.

  • Each drum is additionally sanded and oiled inside.
  • It is also sanded, oiled and polished on the outside.
  • The drumskin is also specially smoothed.
  • We take a lot of time with optimal tuning.
  • We mainly use pre-stretched European cordage or Dynema cordage.

The following link shows our Luxury Master Class

Djembé Art Trommeln der Oberklasse
Djembé Art Trommeln der Oberklasse
Djembe Art golden brandname on a
4 Star Luxury Master Class Djembe
made from African Mahogany from
Guinea

View of the interior of a
4 Star Luxury Master Class Djembe

made from African Lenké Wood
Djembe Art golden brandname on a
4 Star Luxury Master Class Djembe
made from African Lenké Wood from
Mali
Djembé Art fine drums

 

Our Master Class 3 Star Quality

Djembé Art 3 Star QualityDjembé Art 3 Star QualityDjembé Art 3 Star Quality

In this category we import a well made Djembe quality from Mali and the Guinea. Each drum is carefully selected.
The Masterclass is more smoothly finished than the Middle Class. Please compare the photos below.
For this Masterclass we uses better timbers, such as Lenké and Mahogany.

  • Each drum is additionally sanded and oiled inside.
  • The exterior is protected with a special fine oil.
  • The drumskin is also specially smoothed.
  • We take a lot of time with optimal tuning.
  • We mainly use pre-stretched European cordage.

The following link shows our Master Class

 

Djembe Art
Djembe Art
Djembe Art silver brandname on a
3 Star Master Class Djembe
made from Lenké Wood
from Mali.
View of the interior of a
3 Star Master Class Djembe
made from Lenké Wood
from Mali.
Djembe Art silver brandname on a
3 Star Master Class Djembe
made from Mahogany Wood
from Guinea.
Djembé Art fine drums

 

Our Middle Class 2 Star Quality

Djembé Art 3 Star QualityDjembé Art 3 Star Quality

In this category we import a well made Djembe quality from the Ivory Coast and Guinea. Each drum is carefully selected.
The Middle Class is more smoothly finished than the Concert Class. Please compare the photos below.
For this Middle Class we uses Iroko wood.

  • The exterior is protected with a special fine oil.
  • The drumskin is also specially smoothed.
  • We take a lot of time with optimal tuning.
  • We mainly use pre-stretched European cordage.

The following link shows our Middle Class

 



Djembe Art bronze brandname on
2 Star Middle Class Djembe
made from Iroko Wood
from the Ivory Coast.
View of the interior of a
2 Star Middle Class Djembe
made from Iroko Wood
from the Ivory Coast.
Djembe Art bronze brandname on
2 Star Middle Class Djembe
made from polished Iroko Wood
from the Ivory Coast.
Djembé Art fine drums


Our Standard Class 1 Star Quality

Djembé Art 2 Star Quality

In this category we import a very reasonably priced standard Djembe quality from Mali and the Ivory Coast.
Please compare the photos below.

  • The drumskin is specially smoothed.
  • We give each Djembe optimal tuning.
  • We mainly use African standard cordage or pre-stretched European cordage.

The following link shows our Standard Class Quality

 


Djembé Art Trommeln der Standardklasse


Djembé Art Trommeln der Standardklasse
Djembe Art brandname on a
1 Star Standard Class Djembe
made from Melina Wood from Mali.

View of the interior of a
1 Star Standard Class Djembe
made from Melina Wood from Mali.
Djembe Art brandname on a
1 Star Standard Class Djembe
made from Iroko Wood from
the Ivory Coast.
Djembé Art fine drums


Our Basic Class Quality

In this category we import a very fair priced Djembe quality from Senegal and smaller simple low priced childrens Djembes from Ghana. These drums are more roughly carved and finished. Please compare the photos below.

  • The Djembes are tuned.
  • We mainly use African standard cordage.

The following link shows our Basic Class

 

Djembé Art Trommeln der Basisklasse

Djembé Art Trommeln der Basisklasse

Djembe Art
Basic Class Djembe
made from Tweneboa Wood from Ghana.
View of the interior of a
Basic Class Djembe
made from Bushmango Wood
from the Senegal.
Djembe Art brandname on a
Basic Class Djembe
made from Bushmango Wood
from the Senegal.
Djembé Art fine drums
Our general quality requirements
with important advice on what should be considered when buying a Djembe.  

Our professional Djembe Art wooden bodies
These drums are cut, shaped and carved by hand from a whole tree trunk,
and are made from the most sought after resonant African timbers such as
Lenké Wood (Afzelia africana Leguminosae),
Mahogany (Khaya senegalensis Meliaceae)
Jacaranda (Dalbergia spp. Papilionaceae)
African Rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus Fabaceae)
Buschmango Wood (Cordyla pinnata Fabaceae)
and Iroko Wood (Chlorophora excelsa Moraceae).


The surface of the drum body is either symetrically hewn,
smoothly finished or even polished.

  • We are most particular over the precise shaping of the bodies interior
    in order to achieve maximum sonority.
  • Our drums are recognisable by a well proportioned precisely cut quadrant end carving of the top tension rim and through a planed surface closing of the playing area. This makes it possible for a very high initial tensioning and a much longer life span of the drum skin than the usual african drums.
  • Many of our drums are specially artistically decorated.
  • Some are carved around the foot, others have an extravagant decor of hammered metal or ornamental buttons.

Djembé Art Super Premium Drums
A Premium Djembe body made by Gavin Grosvenor
from an exeptionally dark African Mahogany!

Djembé Art Super Premium Drums

View of the interior of a Premium Djembe body made by Gavin Grosvenor
from African Lenké Wood!

Djembé Art fine drums

Djembé Art Super Premium Drums

Drumhead of the 5 Star Premium Class Quality
Djembe made by Gavin Grosvenor

Our professional Djembe Art drumheads
For our Djembes we favour specially selected West African goat skins because they are robust with fine tonal qualities and are long lasting.

  • These are unblemished, without any faults such as cuts, holes or scars.
  • They are uniformly thick and clean.
  • The skins are stretched while moist, so that the spinal line runs across the centre of the drumhead.
  • Whilst drying the goat skins are shaven clean across the playing surface and finally when dry smoothed again.

 

Djembé Art fine drums

 

Our professional Djembe Art tautening cordage
We value the importance of quality cordage, with minimal strech, which does not break and can be easily tautened to facilitate fine tuning.

  • High quality cord with minimal stretch 5 to 6 mm thick ensures that our tautening and tuning lasts well.
    Consequently the retautening of a well played drum is seldom necessary.
  • As a result of the exact horizontal alignment of the two upper locking rings and the lower purchase rings, as well as even force distribution of the tautening cordage, we achieve a very harmonious and clear sound pattern.
  • Through the professional construction we are able to tightly tauten our Djembe drums. The tight tautening is necessary in order to achieve a fine varying tonal spectrum.
  • Bass-, Tone- and Slap-Beats are very clear with our drums and easy to differentiate! Djembe professionals know about these relationships and consequently prefer such instruments.

 

 

Djembé Art Super Premium Drums

Premium Cordage of a 5 Star Premium Djembe
made by Gavin Grosvenor

The world's most important Djembe timbers
© 2000-2010 Gavin Grosvenor
  • Lenké Wood
    Trade names: 'Doussie' Lenké, 'Lingue'
    Local names: Malinke / Bambara: 'Lenké', Ivory Coast: 'Lingue'
    Latin: 'Afzelia africana', besides also 'Afzelia bella', 'A. bipindensis ',' A. pachyloba 'belonging to the family of Leguminosaceae.
    Lenké has exceptional sound characteristics and is very well suited for djembe drum carving. It promotes clear sounds and a good differentiation. The shares of the bass, tone and slap sounds are balanced and distinctive.
    Lenké has always been counted to be the most valuable african timber for Djembe making due to its hardness, density, elasticity, its durability and resistants.

  • Mahogany Wood
    Trade names: 'Mahogany', 'African Mahogany', 'Kaya', 'Acajou', 'Cailcedrat'
    Local names: Guinea: 'Samanguila'; Malinke / Bambara, 'Djala', Ivory Coast: 'Dubb', 'Doukouma' Krala ',' Ira ',
    French: Bois Rouge,
    Latin: 'Khaya senegalensis', even' Kaya grandifoliola ',' K. anthotheca and' K. ivorensis' belongs to the family of Meliaceae.
    These trees reach heights of over 45 m and diameters up to 1 m.
  • Jacaranda Wood
    Trade names: 'Jakaranda', 'African Rosewood', 'african Blackwood', 'Balafon wood'
    Local names: Malinke 'Gbeng', 'Gbani'; Susu 'Ghari';
    Other names: 'Balairi'
    Latin: 'Dalbergia spp.' belongs to the family Papilionaceae.
    There are over 200 Dalbergia species. Among them are in Africa, 'Dalbergia baroni' known as 'Madagascar rosewood', 'Dalbergia melanoxylon' known as 'Granadilla' and 'Dalbergia cearensis' as 'Kingswood'.
    The exact determination of the Dalbergia species used in Guinea are unfortunately not yet succeeded.
    Dose anyone reading this knows more?
  • Rose Wood
    Trade names: 'African Rosewood', 'African Rosewood', African Kino tree, 'Padouk', 'Padauk', 'Barwood'
    Local names: Bambara: 'Guénou'; Malinke 'Gbilling';
    Other names: 'Mukwa', 'Muninga', 'Vein'
    Latin: 'Pterocarpus erinaceus' belongs to the family Fabaceae.
    It is visually similar to Jakaranda, but lighter and not as intensely red as 'Pterocarpus soyauxii' which is also traded under the name Padouk.
  • Buschmango Wood
    Trade names: 'Wild Mango', 'Sunbird Tree'
    Local names: Malinke 'Doda'; Bambara: 'Dugura'; Senegal: 'Cul Cul' or 'Dimb'.
    Other names: 'Imbubuli', 'Thunzikhulu', 'Umbubuli', 'Vovovo'
    Latin: 'Cordyla pinnata', belongs to the family of Fabaceae; synonym: 'Cordyla africana'
    It shows great similariy to Teak wood (Tectona grandis)!
  • Iroko Wood
    Trade names: 'Iroko', 'African Oak', 'Chene d'Afrique', 'Kambala', 'Odum'
    Local names: Cote d'Ivoire: 'Iroko'; Ghana: 'Odum';
    Latin: 'Chlorophora excelsa' and 'C. regia ' belongs to the family of Moraceen
    This tree is one of the most widely spread trees in all tropical african forest formations. It reaches heights of 50 m and diameters up to 2 m. It is not quite as hard as the timbers metioned above. Its strength, however, is similar to european oak. The best Iroko quality comes from the Ivoy Coast.
  • Melina Wood
    Trade names: 'Melina', 'Melian Wood', 'White Teak'
    Local names: Guinea / Malinke 'Melina'
    French: Bois Blanc ', other names:' Irib '
    Latin: 'Gmelina arborea' belongs to the family Verbenaceae
    It is a very light wood that can be easily processed accordingly. Its strength is still resonable.
    Its color is light yellow to grayish white.
    It plays a minor role amoungst resonant african timbers. It is favored in Guinea for the big bass drums Dununba, Sangban and Kenkeni. Since a few years, it is also used to manufacture cheaper djembe drums.
  • Tweneboa Wood
    Trade names: 'Tweneboa wood', 'Tweneboa Tree', 'Palm Wood', 'Drum Tree'
    Local names: Ghana / Asante: 'Tweneboa', 'Kyeneboa', 'Kyenedua' (Kyen = drum; dua = tree), 'Tweneduru', 'Akyaboa'; Nigeria: 'Oma', 'No Kiebo Eke', 'Egin Ogume'; Kamerun: 'Boomba', 'Yombomba', 'Bola', 'Yom'
    Latin: 'Cordia millenii', belongs to the family Boraginaceae
    Tweneboa is a soft wood. This tree grows up to 15 m high and occurs in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Because of its wide umbrella-shaped crown, it is planted for in the villages. It is used for drum carving in Ghana, because it is internally soft and often developes hollow inside with age. The name Tweneboa directly translated means' drum 'tree'. The wood has no special sound characteristics but it is extremely easy to carve. Thats why it is often used for drum making in Ghana, traditionally for Kpanlogo drums and in resant times also for the cheapest djembe drums.

Further information can be found on our site Djembe Art and the German Djembe Forum.

We from Djembe Art are specialised in making and marketing professional Djembe drums, and are counted amongst suppliers of the top quality worldwide! Our drums are unique special examples with excellent tonal qualities. No mass production.
Djembe Art drums cannot be compared with cheap Asian imports or tourist Djembes. Ours are solidly constructed and finished with high quality craftsmanship!
The production of a Djembe Art instrument is considerably more work intensive and demanding, with higher material costs than cheap instruments. The craftsmen have to be paid a fair price for their skill. Since we demand high quality, we search amongst the best drums in their countries of origin, to select only the very best quality examples. We test each drum meticulously, work them over regardless of time and cost, and tune them carefully.
We deal only with selected drums from those countries producing the best quality: Mali, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Senegal! Our only exception are the small childrens Djembes in our basic class which are from Ghana. We decided to include this model amongst our selection since they offer a good compromise: They provide the requirements of a tautening system with acceptable tonal quality and the need for a very resonably priced instrument.
Our demand for quality leads to such an extent that we select usually only the top 10% from the best drum manufacturers.

20 years of djemb é experience have taught us, that the performance of a Djembe does not only depend on the quality of its components, but especially on the precision of the craftsmanship.
A violin maker hardly needs to point out this influence on his instruments.
We from Djembe Art see our work as a contribution to a better quality understanding about African drums.

Martina & Gavin Grosvenor 2010

 

Djembé Art fine drums
Djembé Art Drums, Professional Selection
       
Djembé Art Trommeln
           
 

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