Mar 8 2019 …
More than a decade ago while traveling in West Africa, I began my apprenticeship with a master flute-maker from the Malinké tradition. My studies of this simple but powerful flute, and my continued relationship with the people of Guinée, have been one of the most rewarding (and sometimes challenging!) endeavors of my life.
Over the years since, I have sought to continuously refine and improve the flutes that I make, and honor the tradition from which it comes — traveling back to Guinée whenever possible to work with and support my wonderful teachers there.
It is with a lot of pride that I can say that the new flutes coming from the Kassa workshop are the best I have ever produced, and I’m pleased to continue my work in promoting the music and culture of Guinée!
That said, back home here in the United States (or Europe, Australia, etc), it is all-too easy to overlook the poverty and suffering that the people of Guinée must endure every day. This is the daily reality for my teachers and their families, especially in Conakry. It is for that reason that I have decided to donate a portion of every flute sale to help support my friends and teachers there.
You’ll notice that the prices of my flutes have increased a little, and this is to accommodate the increased time and materials in producing these flutes — but more importantly, to allow me to take 15% of every flute sale and use it for aid and projects in the communities where I have traveled and learned so much.
Over the coming months, you’ll see more information and resources here on the Kassa Flute Co. website that will document how this money is being used, and I hope, over time, to include photos from my travels that show the connection between the Kassa Flute Co. and Guinée.
The Kassa Flute Co. is a small operation, and a labor of love for me. But it has always been my hope to be able to use it to offer support, however small, to my friends and family in Guinée…and your support and continued patronage will help me with that goal.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. I look forward to continuing to grow Kassa and to provide you with resources, information, and inspiration, while helping communities in need.
— Dave Kobrenski