Hi friends!
I’m Istvan Dely, a Hungarian of African descent. Yes, a little too pale for that. Still, I’m of African descent. We all are.
Man was born in Africa. And: the first man was a woman!
So it’s only natural that I love Africa and I love women. They are the first and foremost educators of mankind. Mother Africa.
Africa is music. And woman is music. Already in the womb you hear the comforting, nurturing, strengthening drumbeat of your mother’s heart.
So it’s only natural that I love drums.

I live in Cartagena, on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, in the very heart of Africa in America. I've been learning, playing and teaching drums for over thirty years: in Cuba, Europe, West Africa, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana, Suriname, Brazil and the USA. (click here to visit me in Cartagena, then click the Back botton of your browser to return to this page)

But the magic of the written word came first. I started off with poetry. At age 12 my first poem began like this:
Afrika, öserdö, pálma,
És tompa konga dob…

It spoke of Africa before I ever set foot outside the Iron Curtain and of conga drums before I ever saw one. Mine was to be the historic honour of bringing the first conga drums to Central Europe from Cuba, where I was sent on a scholarship to complete my master degree in languages and literature (Spanish, German, and English). That’s where I was born into the mysteries of African religious drumming, and into the interconnectedness of Music and the Word, Mysticism, Community, the Cause, the Mission...

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After 30 years: Hungary revisited!


Soon online! Drumming Handbook Volume One

Rhythmacultures of the African Diaspora
in the Circumcaribbean.

Over sixty rhythms from nine countries...

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Just released!

Wildfire: Reflections on Music, Drama, and Dance

My new musical e-book on the arts in the New Millenium

Get it for free here or here

New album coming up!