About Hartbeats

Hartbeats provides workshops & performances for a wide range of events, groups, promoters and organisations, focusing mainly on traditional West African rhythms, played on drums such as the ‘djembe’ and ‘dundun’. Led by Justine Hart, accompanying songs and dances may also be taught or performed, depending on bespoke requirements.

Workshop sessions boost the energy and receptivity of the participants, along with enhancing listening skills. Traditional drums and percussive instruments are provided for all workshop participants, who do not need any prior knowledge of drumming or musicianship. Whether teambuilding is the goal, or just to have fun, both just happen!

Over the years, a wealth of Justine’s students have also steadily built up their own experience with drumming technique and showmanship, with a wide inventory of West African rhythms under their belt. Hartbeats Vitae Drummers are able to adjust their group size depending on venue, which means anything from a few people playing a tiny pub to 35 members performing at a large festival attended by thousands.

Hartbeats mainly covers the South East, is based in Buckinghamshire, and is always happy to provide performances and workshops further afield by arrangement.


Justine Hart
Facilitator & Performer
Hartbeats ‘Head Honcho’

Since 1998, Justine has built extensive experience teaching groups of all abilities, structuring her tuition style and content according to the needs of different types of client, student and environment. She is known for her passion and enthusiasm for West African music, giving engaging, popular workshops and performances. Justine frequently visits West Africa to continue her ongoing study of this exciting musical form and to experience something of the areas and the cultures from which it originates. She has performed at the Kartong Festival in The Gambia and at the Abene Festival and Dombondir Festival in Senegal, and continues to study percussion, dance and song in both in Senegal and the UK. She also leads the Vitae Drummers drumming ensemble, plus other local drumming groups, regularly teaches West African dancing and has proved a trustworthy organiser of many associated festivals, gatherings and expeditions.

Justine and her reliable team can cater to a wide variety of workshop assignments, with crew size dependant on the requirement in hand. This flexibility means the appropriate level and type of percussive guidance is present for that particular group and their aims.

Photo credit: Reward Gateway

Pictured: Team member Barry Neilsen plays dun duns

Photo credit: Reward Gateway

Above: Justine with team member Malcolm Smith playing djembe accompaniment