Djembe Drums & Skins provides high quality rope tuned drums, drum tuning supplies and drum accessories at reasonable costs to those who love drumming. DD&S started as a hobby in the 1980s and became a business in 1996. It is owned and operated by Shorty and Sandy Palmer. DD&S is located outside of Knoxville, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains. Most of its business by phone and internet. You are also invited to stop by (appointment only) and choose your own drum.
Most of our drums come from the Ivory Coast of Africa and Ghana. Some come from Mali and Guinea. Specializing in Djembes, we also carry an assortment of African rope tuned drums including Djun Djuns, Talking Drums, Bougarabous, Kpanlogos, and Congas. Ivory Coast Djembes are made of Iroko wood. Full-sized Djembes are 12”- 14” in diameter and 24” tall. DD&S frequently has smaller sized Djembes. These drums have goat skin or cowhide heads and are tuned by ropes attached to rings. We sell complete drums, shells, and drum kits.
All DD&S drum heads are guaranteed for 6 months and if there is a problems after that we charge very reasonable repair rates. All skins and hides are also guaranteed.
Shorty in Ghana
Shorty Palmer has been building drums for over 20 years and has been a part of several drumming projects and collaborations. His drum journey began in the 1980’s when he used his many years of carpentry skills to make his own drums. He met and fell in love with a Djembe from Ivory Coast in 1992. He is self taught and also eagerly accepts advice and new techniques from others who share his passion for drums and drumming. In January 2011 Shorty traveled to Ghana to meet with the carvers who build the drums he sells. It was fantastic to bring together the two main carvers, one from Ghana the other from Ivory Coast, to talk shop and share drum ideas.
Sandy Palmer is Shorty’s wife of 35 years, helper and business partner. Sandy loves to dance and also fell in love with the beat of hand drumming in the 1980s . Sandy often answers the phone when you make an order or have a question. Sandy is an early childhood consultant, teaches yoga in Seymour, and recently completed Basic Drum Circle Facilitator training. She is also on the board of the Drum Circle Facilitator's Guild. Sandy shares Shorty’s mission to help everyone have access to a nice drum.