The founder of Alpha Rhythm Roots, Alpha, is from Guinea, West Africa.
He has a bachelor's degree, and also worked as a Planner / Project Manager in the corporate world in Europe and Canada for years.
Alpha attended and passed the following courses in Toronto Canada:
- Artistic education certificate - Artist working in the schools
(Course jointly proposed by the Ontario Arts council and York university).
- 1st Aid course
In 2008, Alpha has been added to the TDSB External presenter's list "ASPIRE" .
He has OESC Clearance (Police record check through Ontario Education Services Corporation), which allows him to work in any schools.
He also writes / speaks both English and French fluently.
In addition to running his business, Alpha is very engaged in musicology.
He regularly organizes group workshops, and appeared on Canadian television (TFO, VIA TVA), in documentaries and interviews about traditional music in Guinea and West Africa.
Alpha also has worked on the composition and recording of music for TV documentaries.
In collaboration with multiple Toronto local artists, he regularly organizes workshops, and performs at concerts, festivals, cultural events, schools, private corporate parties, and community fundraisers in the Greater Toronto Area, across Ontario, and elsewhere in Canada.
We'd like to hear from you:
Craftsmen carving professional Djembes for Alpha Rhythm Roots
Musical instruments in Guinea
awaiting shipment to Toronto-Canada
Corporate Team building
I just wanted to let you know that my djembe arrived yesterday. It's beautiful!! The drum is exactly the color and size I wanted and I am quite impressed with the level of craftsmanship. It sounds great too! I brought my djembe to an Africa drumming class, and received many complements on it. People were impressed with not only the look and sound of the drum, but also with the fair price I paid. In addition, thank you for the T-shirt
I will be sure to wear it at my next drum class. Thanks again for a handsome, great-sounding drum.
New Jersey - USA
Customer Testimonials - Reviews:
I played the Djembe with my friends today. The sound is great and strong.. The bass is very good. Really is a professional Djembe. The head size is perfect, and the whole base carved is beautiful. I love this Djembe.
Congratulations Alpha Rhythm Roots
Hi, I finally got my djembe. It looks very nice and sounds very good as well.
I am really enjoying it. I took my djembe and sat in with a group last night and they really liked the drum also.
I got the strap on it correctly I think
South Carolina - USA
I just wanted to let you know that since I have been enjoying my large krin so much,
I have placed an order for another one (smaller version). My hope is that I can bring both krin to my drumming classes and drum circles and get a krin duo going. My African drumming teacher was excited when I brought my krin to his class last week. He played the Kuku rhythm on it while we accompanied him on drums. It sounded great!
Melville . O
NJ - USA
Trade Show in Toronto - Canada
Adolescent playing the Djembe drum
in a Toronto school workshop
Alpha Rhythm Roots
Toll free: 1-866-496-7864
Though we are an online retailer , you can also purchase some of our
authentic musical instruments and books from the
" Blue Banana Market " in Toronto, 250 Augusta Av - 1 block South of College St
(Between Oxford and Nassau St)
Alpha's passion for music started at age 12, when he started music school.
Unfortunately for him, unforeseen circumstances forced him to drop music school. It is only after Alpha graduated from university, started working in the mid 80's, and became more independent, that he was able to renew with his passion for music during his spare time. This is when he decided that traditional Guinean percussive music would be his sole musical focus.
Although Alpha attended university in Europe, and lived in France for a very long time, he stayed very connected to his Guinea homeland through regular yearly trips.
Alpha decided to further enhance his knowledge of traditional Guinean music by starting a more extensive theoretical and cultural study of percussion instruments and rhythms from all regions of Guinea.
Part of Alpha's studies has been used to built the instrument section of our web site.
He consistently fulfilled his dream of being dedicated to traditional Guinean music throughout his frequent trips to Guinea for years.
In the mid 90's, Alpha decided to move to Toronto Canada and began our company shortly after.
It is then that Alpha started practicing more regularily, and seriously, on the Djembe and Doundoumba drums.
Alpha specializes in base drum (Doundoumba instrument, and Doundoumba both "balai " and traditional style), but also plays the Djembe. He mainly developed his drumming abilities by attending workshops of some of the best Guinean Master drummers and renowned players, both in Guinea and in North America: Famoudou Konate - Mohamed Diaby - Amara Kante - Mamady Keita - Fode Mohamed Soumah (Acra), and more..
Alpha Rhythm Roots at the
Toronto Harbourfront centre- Brigantine room
Walter - Alpha - and Derek
with Master drummer
with Master drummer
with Master drummer
Alpha and Master drummers Mamady Keita and Bolokada Conde at a Toronto workshop in May 2012
Alpha Rhythm Roots
master drummer Mohamed Diaby
with "Aya Dance collective"
Alpha with Oliver Mtukudzi "Tuku" during Afrofest 2005
Alpha and Alpha...Yaya Diallo
Special thanks to "Music Africa- Afrofest" for their ongoing
contribution to the African music scene in Toronto and Canada.
Thank you to all Master drummers for continuously teaching and inspiring me !
Thank you to all drummers, dancers, and musicians from all background that I met in the Toronto region and elsewhere in Canada, for contributing to inform the public about the music and traditions of Guinea !
Alpha dancing with
musicians from Mafanco neighborhood
Alpha and master drummer
Mohamed Diaby - Irie FestToronto 2007
(Nathan Philip square)
I want to let you know that I am really enjoying learning drumming with you. I feel challenged, I have fun and appreciate your patience and teaching style.
The performance was great!!! We only had to apologize that Alpha had to wait so long to perform for us. The performance really made the event enjoyable and fulfilling!!!
Alpha was very good at organizing a suitable workshop with such short notice and being patient with our group getting there. He was very good at keeping the students challenged
and interested. The way that he teaches kept the students working hard and having fun, but at the same time, they began to understand the larger concept of African drumming and
rhythm. He was very inspiring to a ramshackle group of teenagers of varying ages (14-18 years old). It was effective and impressive. We can't wait to come back in years to come.
Erika, school teacher
All musical instruments are authentic pieces imported directly from west Africa
(Mostly Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone).
While we do use animal skins, our craftsmen do not condone the killing of animals solely for their skin. Instead, they only use the skins of animals consumed in the area. The craftsmen are descended from families who have produced the same artifacts for generations. They have mastered the techniques of selecting materials and building instruments through the years. Hear for yourself the unique sound that first echoed through Africa and now the world
In October 2006, Fedex Canada celebrated the theme "Around the FedEx World in 5 days".
Due in large part of your participation in celebrating aspect of your culture. Fedex Express would like to extend our sincere thank you for making Diversity week a success.
Michelle.M and Kavitha.V
You and your band were just superb and our employees were thrilled with the drumming and general air of rigorous energy and enthusiasm that your team brought with you.
I hope we are able to hear you again in the not too distant future!
Thanks & regards
Thanks for meeting with me today.
The Djembe you have given me is, without a doubt, a top-quality instrument.
It is a work of art that I will treasure and take great care of. The sound that comes from it can't even be described in words - it can only be heard!
My father is a percussionist - his favorite drum being the Conga. He plays mostly Afro-Cuban rhythms. When I hear African rhythms, I go back to a very happy place.
Thanks for spreading the knowledge and sharing these special instruments.
I learned so much just from reading your website!
Hi - I just want to tell you how pleased I am with the djembe that I ordered from you. It came in great condition and was better than I ever thought. It has a very nice sound. I bought it for my husband who is a professional percussionist. He began getting into Latin percussion about 10 years ago and I thought he might enjoy something "a little different". I think he's going to love it! THANKS!!
New Jersey, USA
(Toronto - Metro Convention centre)
It has happened, our “Fight Hunger Walk- Toronto”, and I am very pleased to have met Alpha Rhythm Roots and musical companions who shared in the excitement of the event.
It is with deep convictions that I say; having your presence was a big help in promoting our cause. Your participation made a real difference in us, raising much-needed funds and generating excellent visibility and press coverage in your community about child hunger.
By getting citizens out on the streets and taking action, we are urging our policymakers to put an end to the needless distress of hungry children, and thus meet the UN Millennium Development Goal No. 1 of having the number of hungry people decrease by 2015. It is hard to imagine, but more than 800 million people suffer from hunger in this world of plenty.
In conclusion, by joining us in our “Fight Hunger Walk – Toronto” displayed a tremendous show of solidarity in our fight against hunger. Together we are making some very important strides toward successfully eradicating hunger in the world.
Thank you for being a participant in this Global effort.
On behalf of the group, I would just like to thank you for running the djembes workshop. Your passion and energy was felt by everyone who participated. You are an amazing drummer and the skills you demonstrated for us tonight was very inspirational. Thank you once again for your enthusiasm and teachings, it was very fun and educational!
Man Ying Ho
University of Toronto, Canada.
Loved the way you interacted with the audience.
It was an outstanding performance and was talked about by everyone. I look forwarded to working with you again!
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for an amazing performance..it was a beautiful show segment and I have received favourable comments on the Guinean drummers.
I look forward to working with you again real soon for the Hamilton show
Fashion show producer
Thank you so much for coming, we really enjoyed your performance. We will definately invite you again to participate in Afrobeat next year.
Thank you again.
A.S.A - U of T
I wanted to say "Asante Sana" for the GREAT Djembe workshop!! Everyone was more than impressed with the drums, as well as your guidance. My friend, Cindy, will most definitely book with you in the future - she thought the workshop was a unique idea, especially for a b-day party. You're an excellent teacher and I wish you all the best with your business...
Fast Delivery for international postage.Good quality instrument.Thank you.
I have received your beautiful Krin - Sound very good and good quality.
I am thoroughly satisfied with the quality of service I received with my purchase from Alpha Rhythm Roots. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful ngoni, and I hope to order further instruments from your establishment in future.
Albert E. Fulton
I must say that I, along with all my guests, thoroughly enjoyed your performance. I received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from all. You guys were simply amazing and I look forward to booking you for future events. Thanks once again.
Last night's drumming workshop was so much fun.
We all learned a lot, developed more confidence, discovered a few more skills, and had a great time! Thank you again for your energy, your enthusiasm, and your kindness.
You are a natural teacher.
Alpha and Doura
during Afrofest 2008
I just wanted to say that I was very happy to meet you. How you observed the other workshops before yours, and changed how you conducted what you taught based on what
you saw, is a testament to your character and quality as a good teacher. Thank you very much for adding your positive calm, and artistic skill, to what we do at Hillside. Whether I am involved or not, be sure that you will always be welcome.
I look forward to the chance to learn with you if you do end up
teaching here in Guelph, my name is on the list.
The drumming performance at the BBQ was fantastic and very entertaining, even considering the last minute venue change. All of the drummers were very professional and patient with the delay and the change.
Again, many thanks for your help and patience, we look forwards to working with you again. Please keep us updated on any performances you may be having that are open to the public.
Once again a great show thank you!!
Everyone did a fantastic job!
Again, I love the theme and we will be pitching this now to our clients. Great job!
I wanted to let you know that you were amazing and very powerful, thank you so much for doing the show and for attending the rehearsal. I loved your costumes, it was all so perfect for the scene. You guys rocked!
Looking forward to working with you again.
Thank YOU so much for such a great performance. I was very happy that Cadbury included African drummers in my scene. It was also nice that you know Ruth... that made it that much more special.
Thank you again and I hope our paths cross again,
Izzy Camilleri - Fashion designer
the ngoni has finally arrived. It looks and sounds awesome, thank you.
I really enjoy your classes. You know the material really well, you are attentive, patient and kind, and fun too! What more could we ask for?
Saint Mary's food bank
Global Village Gala dinner
I apologize for taking off so quickly after the session yesterday without thanking you. So - I send my genuine thanks today. You are a great musician and a remarkable teacher and you managed that unusual collection of talent yesterday like a true master. You are quite impressive in your field.
More of Alpha's favorite musicians........
At "Alpha Rhythm Roots", our dream is to bring the music, dance, traditions, and culture of our country, Guinea, to Canada and the world. We've been consistently promoting traditional music and culture of Guinea for over 10 years !
All events / services can be organized in English or French
Professional performances Presentations
Live percussion -dance workshops
I just wanted to thank you and your drummers.
They did an EXCELLENT job at the Write to Give Day. They really set the tone for the day....it was perfect.
The cheque has been put in the mail.
I look forward to working with you and your organization again soon.
Please pass on my thanks,
I just wanted to say that my husband and I, and company we had here visiting from Germany attended the Muhtadi festival on Sunday (thanks to still being on your list) to experience the event but to see your group performance especially... It was a joy to see and hear your ensemble.... a credit to you as teacher and the dedication of your students.... Excellent performance.... we truly enjoyed all the pieces, very professional....great sounds of the djembe.... Wow... Their hands must have been sore....
Overall shopping experience: Excellent
The drum is wicked good. That's the only reason I would ever buy a drum online. This is serious QUALITY! It's gorgeous and the sound... blew me away. Instant connection with this drum. Thank you for such a good product.
Thank you for helping make this year's Four Seasons wellness day such a success.
We really appreciate it and hope to see you next year.
All the best,
Melinda and the Corporate human resources team
You make immediate attachments with the kids. They loved learning from you! We had a fabulous day drumming in the park and for the rest of the week our students practiced what you taught them on our school djembe.
Guelph - Ontario
Alpha is a patient, good natured and enthusiastic teacher. He provided fourteen people in an introduction class with basic techniques. The class was invigorating and joyous!
All our staff enjoyed it and is talking about it as we speak.
Thank you again teaching us about African drumming. It was a pleasure.
Some of our public and private events highlights include:
- (T.D.S.B: multiple schools) - Different school boards across the G.T.A and Ontario
- Multicultural summer festival (Toronto Harbourfront Centre).
- Beat Migration (Toronto Lee's Palace).
- Diversity week celebration at Federal Express Canada.
- KCO-Kenyan Jamhuri day 43rd independence anniversary
- Multicultural Wedding Show (Toronto Metro Convention Centre).
- Harbourfront Community Centre 15th Anniversary.
- The Cottage African lounge.
- 21st International Black Women's Congress 2006 (Holiday Inn Hotel / Markham)
-Futurewatch Environmental non profit organization
- United Nations World Food Programme - UNWFP "Fight Hunger Walk- Toronto".
- Muhtadi International drumming festival - with drumming students (Toronto Queen's Park)
- "Carnivalissima"- Luminato Festival 2007 (Toronto Harbourfront Centre)
- AfroFest (Toronto Queen's Park).
- Irie Fest Toronto (Nathan Phillips Square)
- Ryerson university - International student services barbecue.
- Hillside festival - Guelph Ontario
- George Hull centre for children
- Elementary teachers of Toronto (E.T.T)
- Book Lover's ball 2008-Toronto public libraries (Downtown Royal York hotel)
- 4th annual Cadbury Chocolate couture collection - fashion show
(Drumming for Izzy Camilleri presenting "African Queen" at Toronto Carlu hotel)
- Soldier's Memorial Hospital foundation Gala (Orillia - Casino Rama)
- University of Western Ontario UWO - Presentation to music major students.
-Saint Mary's food bank - Global Village Gala dinner - Mississauga Cdn Coptic Centre..
- Bata shoe Museum
- Francophone centre of Toronto
- Engineers without borders (Metro convention centre)
- U of T (University of Toronto)
- Mayor's Youth Task Force (Markham)
- Free the Children
- World Teacher Aid
- Canadian association of African studies conference - Kingston Ontario
- Franco-Fete (Harbourfront centre)
- Ontario Students Leadership conference (Niagara Falls - Sheraton Hotel)
- Athletes for Africa - Gulu Walk
- R.O.M (Toronto Royal Ontario Museum)
- Toronto Zoo
- Yamaha Motors
- Saint Michael's choir school (Show at Massey Hall - 2 songs recorded on their Christma DVD)
- YWCA Toronto
- Dignitas (Race for dignity)
- Canadian Feed The Children
- Branksome Hall
- TMS College - Montessori
Promoting traditional music and culture of Guinea for over 10 years !
we are from Guinea - based in Toronto Canada
I wanted to let you know that my Djembe arrived 2 days ago (Thursday). I have played it every day since it's arrival. It is fantastic! I don't know much about playing it yet, but, I feel sure that it will teach me a great deal! The rhythm is in my heart!
Thank you for the great customer service!
My hand-carved Guinean krin arrived yesterday in perfect condition, exceptionally well packed. The wood is absolutely beautiful and the sound of the drum is out of this world. The special wood sticks, as you said they would, make a huge difference in clarity and volume.
I play it outdoors and it echoes throughout our woods. Your responses to my phone and email queries gave me confidence all along that I would receive a superior drum from a superior source. I look forward to buying another drum from you very soon and will spread the good word to my drumming friends. Thank you also for the Alpha Rhythm Roots tee-shirt. It has been a pleasure doing business with you all around. Merci bien!
Nonesuch, Kentucky USA
Thank you so much for last night! You and your crew were awesome! Many of the guests were commenting on it and I heard more than a few say that you were the highlight
Thank you again for being part of making the event a success!
My name is Paul, and I must say I was thoroughly impressed with your skill and teaching abilities. I feel what makes a great teacher is their ability to immediately determine what a student is capable of, what level they are at, and then push them just beyond that limit enough to challenge them and make it enjoyable. I can clearly see these qualities in yourself.
What an awesome performance. Thanks so much for coming. The students and staff were so entertained. I am sure they will be talking about it for a long time to come. One teacher told me that it was the best assembly they have had since she was there three years now. Thanks again. I will definitely be referring you to other groups.
You put on a great show - the audience loved it. I understand that on Monday you did a rotation so that more kids could have a chance at trying the drums.
Thanks so much for being so flexible and working to make it the best experience possible.
I will definitely keep you in mind for future events.
As soon as I download the photos off my camera I will send some to you.
Hello Alpha and Team,
We would like to thank you for your amazing work yesterday!!! The client was thrilled and the feedback was also incredible. Thank you and your team for doing such a great job!!
We will most definitely keep you in mind for future shows. You were wonderful to work with.
To more events!
Just a brief note on behalf of my wife and I, and especially on
behalf of our son James, thank you for your advice and help with the
beautiful djembe we recently purchased from you. It arrived safely
last Wednesday and we took it up to Edmonton on Friday for him.
He loved it. The clarity, volume and variety of tones that the drum
produces blew us both away. Nothing he or I had played before
(the LP look-alikes etc.) came close. We can't thank you enough.
We also feel really good that a portion of the money will be going
to the artisans in Guinea- it's kind of like getting a Stradivarius
violin from Antonio himself along with the knowledge that you are, in
a small way, helping a community - and this is also something that
hits close to home as my wife is from Africa.
The photo is of our son James (the professional drummer).
Murray and Pat McDonnell
Saskatchewan - Canada
I hope you are doing well! I just wanted to let you know how well pleased I am with this outstanding Djembe purchased from you.
It sounds amazing and continues to sound even better with more practice and playing. It has such deep rich tones and the slaps are amazing. I am getting better in experimenting with the skin and how to get even more sounds.
Best regards to you and your business.
Wow, what a performance you gave on Friday. Our guests gave raving reviews of your performance and highly enjoyed it.
Ricky, who also used to play with a Trinidadian band when he was in Montreal, loved the performance. We will be sure to use Alpha Rhythm Roots for our future events and will recommend your group to all of our colleagues.
Thanks again and may God bless you all for taking the time to make our wedding spectacular.
I was impressed by the web site and flash movies. It conveyed to me that you had true love for what you were doing. Something that is rare these days. Additionally, your personal touch of calling me the next day after my internet request gave me confidence in buying from you. The drum is a thing of beauty. Well worth the money and joy it will give the whole family. Thank you Alpha.
I have always been in love with African music - the rhythm, the beat, the raw feeling of it. And when I listen for the beat in any music, when dancing for example, I listen for the drum (not the clave). Basically, percussions in music and an African motif is what I look for, when I listen to music of any kind. So, when I traveled to Morocco, I got a Doumbelek, then later a friend of mine gave me a small djembe, which were just a decoration in my house. Now, after signing for your classes, I can actually use them for what they were meant to be used. I love your classes, the atmosphere and the energy. I also appreciate the bonus private lesson, which comes with the package, and the access to some helpful graphics on your website. I do believe that if I do my practice, you can make a drummer out of me ...:)
I am glad I found you!
Thank you for your patience with people like me, who have no musical background at all!
I began taking djembe lessons in 2007. I had studied jazz drumming briefly, and much as I love playing drum kit, I really wanted the close connection that comes with hand on drum and being part of a drumming ensemble.
From the start, I loved the connection I felt to my djembe, and to the other drummers. I know it sounds corny, but when I begin to play, I look at the skin, the wood, the ropes, and think of the tree, the animal and the djembe maker. I know that they have done their part, and all that stands between the drum and beautiful music is me, and I focus on playing as well as I can. I love to hear the way the rhythms fit together, and to feel the connection with so many others who have danced, celebrated, worked, fought, and mourned together to the same melodies.
I enjoyed my first year of classes, with another teacher, but really came to love drumming when I joined Alpha's classes. I loved the way he accommodated students of all levels in each class, the fact that students were not locked into a series of classes but could come and go, and especially, that we learned all the rhythms that make up the songs - not just the djembe parts but the doundoumba as well.
Life took some tricky turns for me and I wasn't able to attend drum class for a year or so. In the fall of 2011, I happened to connect with some djembe drummers who played backup to a rock singer. I joined them for rehearsals and a very fun performance. I realized how much I missed Alpha's classes and have been happily attending them weekly since then.
No matter how hard my week, I feel the stress melt away in class. There is nothing quite like the feeling when we get into a groove and can hear not just the melody but beautiful harmonics resonating from the vibrations of the drums. Thank you, Alpha, for the chance to be a part of something so beautiful.
Thank you for the wonderful performance. The kids all had fun and it was such a great experience for them.
Given an enduring interest in African culture and a desire to stimulate my mind, I recently signed up for beginners’ djembe drumming with Alpha Roots Rhythm. I love the classes! Who could resist the infectious rhythms or, the positive group energy? Alpha is personable, enthusiastic, and well organized. He effortlessly accommodates our various learning styles and levels, always providing students with both a sense of accomplishment and an element of challenge in each class. Playing the Djembe, as well as the Doundoumba, Sangban and Kenkeni drums allows us to appreciate firsthand various traditional Guinean polyrhythms. Alpha’s cultural explanations and his drumming demonstrations reveal the beauty and complexity of African drumming and motivate us to persevere beyond our humble beginnings!
Amazing event! The workshop and the performance by professional drummers definitely kept our group of 25 people engaged for the afternoon! Would definitely recommend this for large or small groups looking for something unique and fun!
Thanks for coming and doing the workshops for us. I think the students were quite engaged in the learning.
It was very nice to hear the real thing done well, and to start to appreciate the complexities of Guinean music.