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Workshop Info


Music Making


Open to All

Cultural Focus:

West Africa


The Kashakas will be provided, just bring yourselves!

About Workshop

Kashaka shakers are a simple percussion instrument from West Africa. They consist of two small gourds filled with beans or with seeds from the Ghanaian Swawa tree. One gourd is held in the hand and the other is quickly swung from side to side around the hand, creating a “clack” sound when they hit each other. This makes the Kashakas create both shaking sounds and percussive clicks. They are known in different countries by various names: Asalatua, Aslatua, Kes Kes, Cas Cas, Kass Kass, Koshkah, Patica, Thelevi etc. It’s possible to create complex rhythmic patterns and polyrhythms with them and they can also help improve focus, rhythm, timing, dexterity and develop the ability to multitask, as well as develop independence and coordination of right and left hands. In addition they can help build muscle mass and improve flexibility in the hands, arms and shoulders. They can also be used as a meditative tool and can help with relaxation and lower stress levels. Kashakas are a lot of fun to play and although some of the more advanced moves are quite tricky, anyone of any age can enjoy playing them!

Daniel Akonnor

Kashaka Shakers


Daniel Akonnor

Hailing from the Eastern Region of Ghana, Daniel Akonnor started playing drums at a young age. After moving to Accra as a teenager, he studied Kpanlogo and Djembe under the apprenticeship of Master Drummer Powerful Drum, and learned other percussion instruments including the Kashaka. In 2002 he co-founded Universal Drums, an artisan shop specialising in handmade West African percussion instruments, at the Accra Arts Centre. For the next 13 years he taught African percussions and drums (Kashaka, Kpanlogo, Djembe, Talking Drum, Dundun) to all levels both in groups and privately, to people from all over the world including music students from the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, USA. He also performed around Ghana with the Binnkabi Cultural Group. After relocating to London 2015, he has continued with private teaching, played drums in Nii Tagoe’s African dance class, and performed with the South African Cultural Gospel Choir. Gigs include the Rugby World Cup 2015 at Twickenham Stadium, the BBC and Sony Pictures Television. Daniel is also an accomplished drum builder and tuner.




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