I hold a Bachelor of Music Education
degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Music Performance
(emphasis in jazz studies and ethnomusicology) from Bowling Green State
University. I am a specialist in Haitian, Cuban, and West African based
folkloric drumming and have done extensive fieldwork in West Africa,
Puerto Rico, Brazil, and the United States where I have studied and
performed with several master musicians in the cultural context. I continue
to study and perform traditional Afro-Haitian and Afro-Cuban music for
dance classes and religious ceremonies throughout the greater New York
City and Philadelphia areas, and present many performance lectures at
Colleges and Universities on this music each year. I am currently Master
Tambor for Sosyete
Du Marche, an American Vodou house in Philadelphia.
Apart from my world music background, I am an accomplished drumset artist,
jazz vibraphonist (winning several awards nationwide for arranging and
soloing), and symphonic percussionist. I travel extensively as a clinician
for Latin Percussion, Yamaha, Sabian, and Vic Firth companies teaching
and performing as a solo artist and as a member of several notable ensembles
throughout North America, Asia, Brazil, and parts of Europe.
I have recorded and toured with the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble and can be heard on the DMP releases Different Strokes, World Music Tour (DMP), and The Percussion Music of David Maslanka (Albany). I have also toured and recorded with Smallstone artists Five Horse Johnson (Blues for Henry, Double Down), I-Town recording artist Paso Fino, Rising Sign (9-piece salsa band), PIONEROS del RITMO (latin jazz sextet), the Brian Murphy Trio. Most recently I can be seen performing with MARASSA DUO, my own latin jazz quartet PANacea, Overdekte Brüg PercussieTrio, as well as several other notable artists.
I am currently instructor of percussion at Millersville University and ElizabethtownCollege in Central Pennsylvania and a freelance percussionist in the Philadelphia and greater New York City areas. From 2000 - 2007 I was Director of Percussion Ensembles at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and previous to that I was Visiting Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Toledo. I am the co-author of Vodou Drumset: Traditional Afro-Haitian Rhythms Applied to Drumset (Carl Fischer Publications), founder and president of House Panther Press, and am a published composer through Drop6 Media and Mel Bay Publications. I am also co-Vice President for the Pennsylvania State Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
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