Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Video Podcast on Frame drumming

I discovered that David Kuckhermann has started a video podcast series focused on framedrumming. I haven't looked at them yet, but from my previous experience with David's work, I sure that you'll be amazed:

Check it out at

Thursday, November 30, 2006

2007 Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music

The Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture is pleased to announce the third annual Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music.

The Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music ( offers a five-day residential program focusing on classical Arabic music. The seminar, held from March 25-30, is designed both for people who wish to begin their study as well as those who seek to improve their skills.
The Heartland Seminar features internationally-recognized academics and performers who will offer individualized instruction in qanun, violin, nay, 'ud, percussion, and voice in addition to ensembles, lectures, and workshops. Instructors are members of the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble along with visiting scholars/musicians: Hicham Chami of Chicago, Hanna Khoury of Philadelphia, Dr. Scott Marcus of Santa Barbara, Naser Musa of Los Angeles, Kinan Abou-Afach of Chicago, Karim Nagi of Boston, and Youssef Kassab of New York City. All instructors have extensive background in education and workshop-conducting in addition to being recording artists and performers.

The Heartland Seminar is sponsored by the Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Turkish, and Armenian music. The Arabesque Foundation promotes concerts, publishes a magazine, conducts educational workshops, and produces recordings.
The location is DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin, a conference center on Lake Michigan. DeKoven is convenient to Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, yet offers a secluded setting conducive to the seminar.

The cost for instruction including meals and lodging (double occupancy) is $575; the non-residential cost (two meals a day) is $495.
Further information about the Heartland Seminar, featuring press coverage and participant comments, may be found

Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture
1836 W. Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640
(888) 699-2836 toll-free
(773) 856-6454 office
(866) 557-1749 fax

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hand drum videos on the web

There is a growing collection of hand drum videos posted on the web video sharing services now. This is turning out to be a great way to see some folks demonstrating various techniques. Here's a collection of URL's which I compiled from the Framedrummer email list:

Tonbak and Daf classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

Private weekly Persian Percussion (Tonbak+Daf) classes will be beginning next week in the South Bay (Santa Clara).

Lessons are $20 per session\hr. Taught by Shirzad Sharif using the Ostad Bahman Rajabi school of Tonbak techniques and thought....
eMail: shirzad AT shirzadsharif DOT com

PASIC happening this week

PASIC (the Percussive and Arts Socity) is holding their annual convention in Austin this week, Nov 8-11. This should be fun event if you're in the Austin area.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

2007 Cooperman Drum Catalog Online!

I wanted to announce that the 2007 Cooperman Drum catalog is now available for download. If you are looking for a new hand drum, Cooperman makes the best hand drums on the planet (in my opinion). Whether you're in the market for a new Bodhran, Tar or Riq, Cooperman has a drum for you. I am especially interested to play their new artist series Riq (shown below) which is larger in diameter, smaller in width and includes an aluminum bearing edge (which helps balance the drum forward).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp

The Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp will be taking place in Mendicino on August 13-20, 2006. More information here:

Nice priced drums

I found the following source for nicely priced, quality drums:

Karim Nagi Instructional Riqq DVD

Wow, this is an incredible production. From the moment I first played this DVD, I was mezmerized by Karim Nagi's skill on the Riqq. He is also an excellent teacher, musician and entertainer. This instructional DVD is well thought out and organized. It's well mixed and mastered. Karim covers both the "Classical" style of play as well as the "Caberet" style of playing. He also provides some classic rhythm examples.
As a music teacher myself, I am always looking for new ways to create a learning experience for my students, and I think that Karim has accomplished that with this valuable learning tool. If you play the riq, or have ever considered playing the Riq, then this DVD is a valuable addition to your library.
The performance cuts on this DVD are also a nice touch. You get a chance to watch Karim play DVD along with Oud player Baha' Agha.
You can purchase a copy here:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Debute CD available from the SHARQ Ensemble

I just got notice that the SHARQ Ensemble has released their debute CD titled: "Revival". I haven't received my copy yet, but here's a description of the SHARQ Ensemble:

"The SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble is composed of Arab Americans. The group specializes in traditional Arabic music, as it was performed for hundreds of years in the royal courts, art houses and concert halls of past Arabic kingdoms. SHARQ maintains this lost tradition and renews it with the vitality of modern musical acumen, perspective and expertise.

You can order a copy here:

The SHARQ Ensemble includes the following musicians:
  • Karim Nagi / riqq
  • Kareem Roustom / oud
  • Aboud Agha / vocals
  • Hanna Khoury / violin
  • Jamal Sinno / qanun
  • Boujemaa Razgui / nay

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yuval Ron Ensemble

When: Thu. June 29 8pm $12 adv./$14 door
Where: Don Quixote's Music Hall, Santa Cruz, CA
The Yuval Ron Ensemble unites the sacred and folkloric musical traditions of Jewish and Arabic cultures into an unusual musical celebration. Composer and world-music record producer Yuval Ron imparts the ancient and deep inter-cultural connection between these three traditions and the musical influences they share. Featuring songs from Morocco, Yemen, Andalusia, Bukhara and Israel. Yuval Ron is an Israeli composer and record producer of international reputation. His ensemble was featured in the World Festival of Sacred Music in LA 2002 and 2005 and International Peace Festival in Korea . Yuval Ron - oud, saz, musical director, Tehila Lauder - vocals, percussion, Nimrod Nol – violin, Dror Sinai - percussion, voice For more info and beautiful photos go to Yuval Ron Ensemble page at:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Arabic Music Podcast

I just discovered an excellent podcast by Arabic violin player Sami Abu Shumays. In this podcast called Personal Performances, he interviews various other musicians. It's a well created and entertaining podcast. I started (of course) with the interview of Johnny Farraj on riq. Johnny started the educational website Maqam World. Good stuff.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

David K on a Frame Drum Set

Check out this very cool video of David playing a framedrum drum set:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Riq builder from Israel

The following message was posted by Marina on the Framedrum Yahoo group. I thought that it was worth reposting here. I don't have one of his drums, so I can't vouch for the quality, but it seems like a good reference:

"Hi everybody,There is a great riq builder from Israel, Eli Huli, who makes hand made riqs & frame drums. Zoar Fresco is playing his instrument. His phone is+972 522 540822 or +972 3 5018669. Contact him if you want a top class instrument. Prices are around 500$. (He still doesn't have an e-mail, but he'll get it soon.) Have all the best, Marina

Friday, March 31, 2006

Moutain Rhythm now offering Frame Drum

I was surfing over to one of my favorite drum manufacturers when I noticed that Mountain Rhythm is now producing a frame drum series.

Their drums are available in a frame drum, 3" deep in both 14" and 18" sizes. They also have a bodhran, 4" deep in both 14" or 18" sizes.

Both drums come with a tunable goatskin head.

I haven't played one yet, if you have played one, or own one, leave a comment!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New LP Products Catalog online

The new Latin Percussion product catalog is now online or available for purchase in hard copy for $5. This catalog includes the latest in new and classic percussion instruments from LP.

You can find out about their new instruments for 2006 here.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thanks Kobi

While I am starting out this blog and sending out thanks to all those who have inspired me, I have to give a special thanks to Kobi Hageol. I was very fortunate to be able to take a lesson from Kobi when he was on tour in the states last January (2005). He made a stop in the bay area and he did a special workshop at Rhythm Fusion in Santa Cruz.

I had seen his name in an email newsletter from Rhythm Fusion, but I didn't really know anything about Kobi. So I dropped him an email to introduce myself before he came over from Israel on his tour. Kobi is an amazing guy. Even though we only spent two hours together, I couldn't believe the speed and skill with which he played the drum. Amazing... Complex rhythms and a flurry of fingers rolled across the drum head. I learned much from Kobi in that two hour lesson. The most memorable tip he gave me was to rest as much as possible between each strike, taking a few milliseconds here and there to relax your arm and hand muscles, so that you can have the stamina to play for a whole evening. Good advice. Thanks Kobi!!

By the way, if you want to get your hands on one of the best engineered Dumbeks, check out Kobi's design. I've got one on my wish list... Kobi is also the author of an excellent book/CD on Middle Eastern Rhythms titled: The Art of Middle Eastern Rhythm

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Drum Teacher: Mike Fair AKA Faraz

I was fortunate to met Mike Fair AKA Faraz, at the local drumdance drum circle last spring. Mike stood out at the drum circle, not only because he's 6'8" (three inches taller than me) but also because of the subtle leadership that he provided in keeping the drum circle on track and he initiated some very interesting rhythms.

As we got to talking, Mike let me know that he was starting to teach lessons on a regular basis, and I was definitely eager to learn more about playing middle eastern rhythms on my Riq. Since that time, a year ago, I've learned a lot from Mike and I am much more confident in my playing style. He has taught me all of the basic rhythms, and provided me with a real appreciation for the complexity and subtlety of playing the various middle eastern drums (Riq, Tar, Dumbek). If you live in the San Francisco bay area, and you'd like to get in contact with Mike you can reach him through his bands website.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thanks Scott...

I have to admit that my obsession with the Riq started when I first heard N Scott Robinson play the solo: Shaken Not Stirred, live at a concert two years ago with Mark Holland. I was mezmerized by Scott's talent and the sheer speed and accuracy with which he played the solo. I had never heard the Riq, nor been exposed to middle eastern rhythms prior to that evening. Mark is a very talented Native American flute player, and he has collaborated with Scott of several albums.

Subsequently, I purchased my first Cooperman Riq in December 2004. What an amazing instrument! The Cooperman Riq is the 'cadillac' of drums. Mine has a fishskin head, and I've customized the zill set to include a pair of the Brass "Hadjingles" and a pair of the German silver hammered finish zills. It's not a traditional instrument anymore, but I've literally got a drum set in my hands.

Basic frame drum rhythms

There are many places on the web to find the basic middle eastern rhythms. I discovered this one while googling to find some related frame drum information.

Here's another link with Riq and Daf rhythms.

We're live with the first posting!!

Hello. This is the first posting on the new blog! This blog will be dedicated to all things related to frame drums, middle eastern rhythms and other fun stuff. Mostly, I just wanted a place to collect and collate all of the information that I find and to add the knowledge as I learn to become a better frame drummer.