Basic Background Info
Yael Shacham, born in Israel and raised a world away in New Jersey, has devoted her life to the study and performance of West African drumming.
Yael Shacham has adeptly performed on the djembe, the songba, the kenkene, and the shekere. After stepping away from her music for some time, Yael Shacham recently studied djembe drum and dance in Guinea's national drum and dance company, Les Ballets Africaines.
Yael Shacham has been working with Lara Gonzalez-Howell. Together they created Marafanyi Percussion. Their instrumentation includes djembe, doundoun, songban, kenkeni, krin, gongoma, shekere, bizouki, sitar, and tabla combined with vocals, saxophone, flute, keyboards, and tap shoes.
As Marafanyi, Yael Shacham and Lara teach, perform, and record. Their artistic expression fuses original music and spoken lyrics with traditional West African rhythms and dance. Their holistic programs, whether performance or educational, focus on joyful exploration, empowerment, communication, and cooperation. By encouraging their audiences and students to connect their mind, body, and spirit, they are able to express themselves through rhythm and dance.
Instruments of Choice
Pics & Clips