WEEDIE BRAIMAH is widely regarded as the premier voice of the Djembe. Born in Ghana and raised in East St. Louis with deep roots in New Orleans, he was first introduced to West African culture and drumming and began performing at the age of 2 years old. Braimah continued his lifelong quest and professional career in the study of African folklore and cultural music of the African diaspora. A maverick performer of the highest caliber, Braimah is endowed with an innate ability to draw entire audiences into his groove. Utilizing his amazing speed and dexterity, breathtaking skill, and breadth of knowledge, he ushers listeners through a rhythmic journey of Africa and the Diaspora. As Offbeat Magazine noted, his “skill at adapting to an array of styles” has made him an original and in-demand talent.
Braimah descends from a long lineage of drummers/composers, which includes his mother, Ann Morris, a respected Jazz drummer, his father, Oscar Sulley Braimah, a world-renowned composer and master drummer, and great-uncle, Jazz drumming icon, Idris Muhammad. Braimah honed skills learned through study with greats including Mamady Keita, Abdoul Doumbia, and Sylvester SunShine Lee among others. He excelled musically and became one of the leading exponents of the West African diasporic drum and dance world in his teenage years. For more than 25 years, Braimah has been a performer, teacher and preserver of African culture who continues to traverse new musical pathways.
Currently, the Grammy-nominated Djembefola records and tours with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Baaba Maal, Trombone Shorty, and Bokante, as well as others. Braimah also leads his own band, Weedie Braimah & The Hands of Time, through which he elevates percussion as the front-facing music of the diaspora focusing on instruments such as Ngoni, Djembe, Dunun set, Sangban Kit, Keyboards, N’goni Bass, and Electric Guitar to create a compelling Stretch Music sound to claim new musical territory. As the publication AfroPop succinctly stated, “Braimah’s trademark approach to using the djembe drum as the centerpiece of a contemporary ensemble,” which culminates into “enfolding African folkloric music within a modern fusion ensemble in which all the instruments mesh into a tight, thrilling singularity.”
Braimah exemplifies tradition, evolution, and soul as he brings his vision of building reverence for folkloric West African music to life. His mission? To have the evolution of this folkloric music recognized as relevant, respected, and as the essential root of Jazz, funk, fusion, global music, and hip hop. And for his style of Stretch Music to take its rightful place as one of the pillars of modern music rooted in the African percussion continuum he has spent his lifetime championing throughout the world.
Weedie Braimah and The Hands of Time
“Braimah is a passionate frontman…he has arrived at a new vision of the djembe in an ensemble, in essence, a matter of enfolding African folkloric music within a modern fusion ensemble in which all the instruments mesh into a tight, thrilling singularity.” – Afropop Worldwide
Weedie Braimah and the Hands of Time is an eclectic ensemble of highly-regarded, internationally-acclaimed musicians founded in 2016 by Grammy-nominated bandleader, djembefola, and composer Weedie Braimah. The group combines West African folklore with styles like jazz, funk, fusion, and hip hop, creating a ground-breaking sound like no other group.
Since its inception in 2016, Weedie Braimah and the Hands of Time have performed internationally at venues and festivals including the Blue Note New York, GroundUP Music Festival, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, and Festival Varadero Josone in Cuba.