A MEMBER of one of the UK's leading British drumming groups has moved to the Forest from Manchester following the birth of his baby girl Rugi, now 10 months-old.

And Simon McCarthy, who has travelled extensively in West Africa, is planning a weekly drumming course at Dene Magna and weekend sessions in the village hall at The Pludds, where he has bought a new home.

"Rugi was one of our main reasons for moving to the Forest," he told the Review. "My wife also has family links this way."

Training with 'Griots' (musician families) in Gambia, Senegal, Guinea and Burkina Faso, he took his knowledge to Manchester were he helped create the most lively African Drumming scene in the North West with his band Tanante.

Simon also is a founder of the successful cooperative drumming business Drumroots, based in Manchester, which was set up with friends who shared his passion for promoting the traditional music and musicians of West Africa.

Tanante, whose reputation has grown across the UK as the number one British Djembe performance group, have become respected in the African music scene for their highly skilled, energetic performances of drumming and dance, playing alongside master drummers such as Iya Sako, Nansady Keita and Seckou Keita.

Simon is launching a weekly evening class at Dene Magna on Tuesdays starting this week (7pm-8.30pm).

There will also be new energy and life at The Pludds Village Hall for a monthly Saturday session (2pm-6pm) starting on October 8 (then November 12 and December 10), in which people from as far as Birmingham and Cardiff will take part (contact Simon on [email protected]">[email protected] or 07533 303085 for details).

Open to all levels, participants will cover the techniques of the djembe (hand drum), the three dunduns (bass drums) and Mandinka song and Simon says the spirit of this celebration music is guaranteed to uplift and inspire.