In most drumming cultures, playing the drum starts as an act of prayer and connecting with Spirit. Those Traditions are still very much alive and they are the element that attracted me the most to the practice of drumming, besides the fact that it’s a lot of fun!
Most consider the drum simply a rhythmical, accompaniment instrument, but in these Traditions the drum is a fully realized musical instrument with a language of it’s own and very sophisticated techniques that vary tremendously from culture to culture, instrument from instrument. Mastering the drum is no less a feat than mastering any other classical western instrument, but I believe we have the added task of understanding the cultural background and spiritual use of any given drum, ideally in it’s original geographical environment. Once we are well grounded in it’s tradition and history, we can move on to find our own individual voice and style. This is actually a philosophy that I apply to all my musical studies whether it be India, Africa, Brazil or Japan.
I have studied African, Indian, Brazilian and Cuban drumming in different countries and with several master teachers, beside sharing the stage with amazing drummers in the development of my own group, Drum Prayers, that had a long and successful career for almost twenty years in Canada.
I have done extensive work as a studio percussionist in hundreds of recordings, film soundtracks, theatre productions and dance shows.
I have been teaching drumming for more than twenty years, privately, in groups, in the School System and corporate environments. I have shared ritual and ceremonial space with many First Nations brothers and sisters in Canada, even touring with them in a cultural exchange with the Maori in New Zealand. I have supported many hours of Trance Dance, and had the honour and pleasure of collaborating with the creator of the Five Rhythms, Gabrielle Roth. I have toured and performed extensively as a percussionist with many popular artists, dancers and bands, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The Drum is the voice of my ancestors and my birth land, South America, where the unique Afro-Latin culture has been flowering and developing for hundreds of years.
I can perform on and teach (privates or groups) the following:
Congas and Bongo (Cuban rhythms)
Samba Instruments and rhythms
Tamboriles and Uruguayan Candombe
Shekere, Shakers, Rattles, Bells, Clave and other percussive “toys”