Born in Amsterdam the Netherlands, Freddy’s talent was recognized at a young age and he started learning congas at the age of 12. Freddy was honoured to study with Raoul Burnet who was regarded as the best conga player and teacher in Western Europe.
Raoul was a master percussionist (one of the first musicians endorsed by LP – Latin Percussion in the Netherlands) and an expert in Afro Cuban rhythms. Raoul Burnet played with music legends such as Patato Valdez, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Wilson Picket, Art Blakey and many more.
After Raoul’s sudden death, Freddy started to play kit drums as well to reggae music, ska music and funk. In the 80’s he joined the band Revelation Time that quickly grew into the best afro reggae band in the Netherlands and one of the finest in Europe . Revelation Time had a top 40 hit in Europe with a song called South Africa . Freddy played drums and percussion with this band for over 12 years and toured Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Malta and Italy.
Revelation Time backed up Jamaican artists such as Lee Perry and Eek a Mouse, and supported well-known bands such as Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse, Aswad, Alpha Blondy, UB40, Inner Circle , Ossibisa, Saleif Keita, Toure Kounda, Senemali, Kumbi Saleh and Fela Kuti.
During this period throughout the 90’s Freddy found a passion for West African rhythms and in particularly djembe drumming from Guinea West Africa.
Since being in Australia, Freddy has made an impact on the WA Music Scene. He is currently playing and has played with Latin Jazz group Descarga (featuring Chris Tarr, Tom O’hallaran, Troy Roberts, Dane Anderson, Des White, Jeremy Grieg, Matt Jodrell), LC Salsa, Los Chasquis, Latin Fusion, was the founding member of WAADA (now Akwaaba) , Mike Pigneguy, Glynn MacDonald, with Russell Borrows in Odai Nmai’s group, WAAPA’s award winning Defying Gravity, WAAPA Latin Music Ensemble, Lamine Sonko, Brenda Lee, Mohamed Bangoura, Ziggy Bey Diagne, Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band) in the Perth Concert Hall, Percussion Group Wongai, Barney McAll, Paul Tanner, Funkalleros, Lafaya (Mauritian Community band), Jason Heerah (Australia's top drummer from Electric Empire and currently on X Factor 2014), Thierryno Gangou (One of Mauritius most versatile keyboard players), Nuevo Salsa Orchestra with Marty Purvan, Mutima Band with Wajipha Congwe, Shahira Jazz and 5xWAMi winner with Grace Barbe as best World Music Act in Western Australia.
With the Grace Barbe Afro Kreol band Freddy has performed as a drummer and percussionist at SAKIFO Reunion Island 2010, Iomma 2011 Reunion Island, Reggae Donsa Mauritius 2011, WOMADELAIDE 2012, Byron Bay Blues and Roots in 2010 and 2011, Blue Mountains Festival 2010, Queenscliff Festival 2009 and Woodford Folk Festival in 2009,2009 and 2012, Nannup Music Festival 2010, Fairbridge Folk Festival in 2010 and 2011, WOMAD Adelaide 2012, Port Fairy 2013, WOMAD NZ 2013.
Because of his travels to Mauritius and Reunion Island, Freddy has emerged himself into the music styles like the Sega and the Seggae. In 2010 the Mauritian Perth based group Lafaya (with Freddy as drummer) were the backing band for the famous Mauritian vocal duo Nancy Derougere and Mario Justin and in 2011 Freddy was the percussionist for a Mauritian Allstar band called Tamtam Nostalzi with Jason Heerah, Thierryno Gangou, Damien Binzagou and Gerard G backing up Mauritian sega pioneers Serge Lebrasse (81), Jean-Claude Gaspard (65), and Roger Clency (80). Special mention to my friend, the pianist Thierryno Gangou who I regard as my mentor in Mauritian Music.
In 2014 Freddy's focus is on the following music projects:
Shahirah Jazz - A Jazz Latin trio
Ngati - A NZ Reggae and R&B band
Nuevo Salsa Orchestra - Latin Big Band
Mutima Band with Wajipha Chongwe - Global grooves
March 2014 Mutima performed at Nukara Folk Festival and made a strong impression
April 2014 Latin/Funk Groove bad Funkalerros rocked the house at Fairbridge Folk Festival with Freddy as the drummer.
As a hand percussionist Freddy conducts djembe and conga drumming workshops, teachesin Perth and Fremantle, he works with organisations such as CanTeen, Telethon, UWA WAAPA, Perth Jazz Society and Camp Quality and numerous schools.
Freddy is a casual lecturer and performer at ECU WAAPA (West Australian Academy of Performing Arts)where he has been working over the last years with WAAPA’s award winning percussion group Defying Gravity and it's director Tim White, lecturer in percussion at the WA Academy of Performing Arts and Principal Percussion with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Over the last year Freddy has joined Human Rhythms Pty Ltd in their newly formed WA office where he plays the role of co-facilitator on corporate team building workshops.
Since 2005 Freddy has organised 7 successful Drum Camps called “Back to the Roots” in Jarrahdale WA . Together with Guinean Master Drummer Mohamed Bangoura from Sydney workshops are being held in traditional Djembe drumming, Dance and Afro Cuban drumming. Mohamed Bangoura recognised Freddy’s talent and passion acknowledged him as a Djembe instructor.
Freddy is also the Australian agent for the world famous Mamady Keita, the grand master of djembe. Mamady has done 2 workshop tours through Australia in 2008 and 2009.
Freddy is currently (semi) endorsed by LP (Latin Percussion) and is available for workshops/private tuition.
Freddy has produced 3 interactive DVDs and a CD with Mohamed Bangoura on traditional Guinean Rhythms and Chants. Check www.djembekan.net.|
WORKSHOPS COMING SOON
Instructor: Freddy Poncin
Mobile 0415 888 426
Private lessons I do at the home studio.
Call me on 0415 888 426.