Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Glen Velez & Lori Cotler - Concert & Workshop

Glen Velez & Lori Cotler - Concert & Workshop

Live Performance

When: Friday, December 5, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Glen Velez & Lori Cotler with special guest Cello Virtuoso Dr.
Constance E. Barrett


(No experience necessary)

When: Saturday, December 6, 2008

Frame Drum & Shakers with Glen Velez
Rhythm Voice with Lori Cotler

For info & registration:

Hosted by St. Joseph of Arimathea Episcopal Church
2172 Saw Mill River Road
White Plains, NY 10607
(914) 592-7166

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jarrod Cagwin Riqq Solo

Jarrod Cagwin on riqq:

Jarrod Cagwin Frame Drum solo

Here's a Video of Jarrod Cagwin on an Eckermann 55 Conductor Series frame drum

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Bergamo Project

There will be a special tribute to John Bergamo at PASIC this year. The special evening takes place on Friday night, November 7, 2008. This showcase concert will feature the work of John Bergamo by his colleagues and students. A wide range of Bergamo's percussion compositions will be performed by members of Repercussion Unit, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri with Hands On'semble and Houman Pourmehdi.

WHEN: November 7th, 2008, 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm
PASIC, Austin, TX.

For more details (and to contribute to the event):

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Upcoming Drumming events on the East Coast

Featuring clinics and performances by:
Todd Roach, N Scott Robinson, David Kuckhermann, Marla Leigh, Patrick Graham
and Yousif Sheronick
+ special guests: KS Resmi, Mac Ritchey, John DeKadt & Rowan Storm

Price is only $75 for all workshops and concerts!!
CONCERT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC on Nov 1 for $12, (reservations recommended)!



**Workshops in Rochester & Woodstock NY:**

Workshop includes experiencing:
*Drumming styles & rhythms from India, Africa & Middle East
*South Indian rhythmic exercises for the voice (³Solkattu²)
*Introduction to Tabla language & Indian time cycles
*How to easily improvise in even/odd meters
*Fun group pieces based of West African/Moroccan Drumming Music

*Gentle yoga stretches for Drummers
*Movement meditation & Pranayama to live music by Marla
Please bring a drum, all levels welcome!

October 26th- 2:00pm- 4:00pm $15 pre/$20 door
Sage Center For Healing Arts, Woodstock, NY

November 15 @ 1pm, $15 member, $20 general
Rochester Jewish Community Center, Rochester, NY


In this special workshop, we will learn a variety of techniques that will
truly deepen your knowledge of the frame drum!
Some of the topics covered will include:

*Split Hand Playing Technique
*Snapping and Rolls
*Free Hand Style Playing
*Fancy ³Moroccan² Twirls
*Italian Techniques
*Double Frame Drum Playing
*Solkattu (South Indian Vocal Percussion) reciting while drumming
+ Instructional Handouts for you to take home

Intermediate -Advanced levels. Beginners also welcome, just know we will not
be covering ³the basics² (ie. how to hold drum/play basic strokes etc)
Please bring a frame drum (some will be provided)

Date: November 23
Time: 2-5pm
Location: 20 min outside NYC, from trainline Metro North (w/ free pickup
from train station)
Fee: $40 pre reg, $50 at door



Blissful yoga & music adventures in paradise, please join us! Private
drumming Lessons will be avail @ all retreats.

*Ananda Ritam Yoga class in NYC!!!
Exhale, 980 Madison, NYC
Oct 16, 630-845pm

*Thai Yoga Massage Retreat at Kripalu, MA
(Oct 17-19)

*Ananda Ritam Retreat at Kripalu, MA
(Oct 20-24)

*Thanksgiving Celebration & Retreat in Ojai, CA
(November 28-30)


Friday, October 10, 2008

Andrea Piccioni has new website

Andrea Piccioni has his new website up, and it's a nice design (in my opinion). He's still putting content online, but you can listen to tracks from his albums, and check out his quiver of instruments. If you have a link to his old site, (the .com site) delete it and link to his new site:

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Arab Dance Seminar Oct 24-26, 2008

For The First Time in The Boston Area, The Fourth East Coast Session of:

When: Friday-Sunday October 24th-26th, 2008
Where: Cambridge (Central SQ) MASS, USA

- From "BellyDance" to Berber, Zaar to Zeffa, come and learn the fullest scope of dances from the Arab world.
- We will teach you the movements, the music, and the meaning behind several dance genres and styles.
- We limit the registrants to 40, and provide an intimate and intense educational experience for students.

Teachers and performers include:
Karim Nagi, Amel Tafsout, Cassandra Shore, Kay Hardy Campbell, & Rachid Halihal

Subjects and workshops include:
Raqs Sharqi, Saidi, Dabkaat, Amazigh/Berber, North African, Khaligi/Gulf, Bedouin, Zaar, & Zeffa,
plus classes in Arabic Language, Rhythm, Arabic Music, History, Costume, and Culture.

Complete info and registration at , or scroll down.

The ARAB DANCE SEMINAR (October 24th-26th, 2008 - the East Coast session) is the first repeating event of its kind in America. All previous Seminars since November 2005 have sold out with maximum attendance. This is the first time the Seminar is being held in the Boston area. The goal of this intensive weekend of workshops, lectures, performances and dance parties is to give the student a comprehensive Arab cultural dance experience. Going beyond nebulous "Bellydance" or generic "Middle Eastern" categories, the Seminar puts all the skills, techniques and practices back into their cultural contexts. The Arab world, home of over 20 countries in 4 zones (North Africa, Egypt, Levant, and The Gulf) is the origin and breeding ground for multiple styles and practices with a common language and aesthetic. This Seminar helps clarify and illuminate that tradition.

The Arab Dance Seminar is created for people with a minimum of 2 years dance experience. The faculty seeks to give every student the authentic techniques, choreographies, and comprehension of Arab dance. Every dancer will take every workshop and lecture; there is no layered scheduling that forces the student to choose between classes. The Music classes will be taught using generic language that is understandable to non-musicians. The student will be provided with study sheets and recordings that reflect the curriculum. Every dancer will leave the Seminar with new routines to perform and teach, plus a responsible cultural understanding of the dance and music.

Special focal topic for this session:
MARRIAGE & MOVEMENT : How Dance & Music Are Central To WEDDINGS in the Arab World.
The October 2008 East Coast Arab Dance Seminar will focus on the Wedding Ceremony. At no other events in the Arab world are music and dance more prevalent, endorsed, and enjoyed than in wedding and engagement ceremonies. Dance and Music are part of the mainstream entertainment for both village and urban weddings. Dance and Music are also participatory, and communally enjoyed by the guests, wedding party, and even the bride and groom. This Seminar will re-enact, analyze, and enjoy many of the songs, choreographies, and rituals of the Arab wedding. These include the Zaffa procession, the Dabka line dances, the Henna nights, the coffee rituals, the songs, and the professional entertainment.

Although there is an academic and ethnographic emphasis, there are neither desks nor computer stations. The student will learn by dancing, moving, singing, clapping and sweating. It is an active seminar where the goal is to physically practice the subjects, and to retain new knowledge for future performances and teaching.

Dance Relevance:
It's time to go beyond Bellydance ! With the enormous explosion of dance enthusiasm in the USA, it is often forgotten where the origin of this phenomenon occurred. Many dancers today do not know the ethnic origin, cultural context, social implications or national varieties of the dances they are performing. Often the lyrical content of each song is also unknown by the dancer. Few dancers know the inner workings and systems of the musical compositions they choreograph and perform to. These factors cause a huge homogenization, resulting in the artistic displacement of the art form. This Arab Dance Seminar gives the dancer the tools and knowledge needed to be a more informed presenter, as well as a more skilled performer and teacher. The instructors are either native primary sources, highly schooled professionals who have lived in Arab countries, or both. They will help each dancer unite the soul, brain and body to create the true authentic dance.

Societal Relevance:
Arab culture has always been a fascination for Westerners. The Orientalist painters of the 17 and 18th centuries like Gerome and Delacroix were obsessed with the street market and household scenes of Arab lands. Currently, modern singers like Beyonce, Sting, Jay-Z and Shakira use the melodies and rhythms on their CDs and dance moves in their videos. Every major college and university teaches Arabic language, and has a Middle Eastern Studies department. But this fascination occurs with a simultaneous fear and paranoia. There is an ongoing media pre-occupation with the political and military turmoil in the Arab world. The Arabs have been designated as the antagonists in a proposed "clash of civilizations." There is no Arab in America that does not experience some type of political existence by default (even while simply dancing or singing). It is our belief that the study of dance and music can humanize the study of Arab culture and people. The enjoyment and cultural knowledge gained from the study and practice of human arts can dissolve the fictitious Arab-West dichotomy.

Classes will start at 4pm Friday October 24th and end by 4pm Sunday October 26th.

Lectures & Performances are held at:
-YWCA Hannum Hall, 7 Temple St. Cambridge, MA 02139 (Friday 4pm -9pm, and Saturday 7pm - 11:30pm)
Dance Classes are held at:
-DANCE COMPLEX Studio #1, 536 Mass. Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Saturday 9:30am - 6pm, Sunday 10:30am-4pm)

Fees: (purchase by CC or PayPal at pre-registration ONLY, no at-door admittance.

FEE for ENTIRE SEMINAR : All Classes & concerts from Friday thru Sunday (YWCA & Dance Complex): $290

FRIDAY WORKSHOPS ONLY : Arabic Language, Arabic Music, Culture and History. $140
@ YWCA Hannum Hall 7 Temple St. Cambridge, MA (Friday 4pm -9pm)

SATURDAY WORKSHOPS ONLY: Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, Khaligi, Zeffa, Henna Party, and Amazigh/Berber. $190
@ Dance Complex Studio #1, 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Saturday 9:30am - 6pm)

SATURDAY NIGHT CONCERT & DANCE PARTY ONLY: Performances by Cassandra, Amel Tafsout, Karim Nagi & Rachid Halihal. $20
@ YWCA Hannum Hall 7 Temple St. Cambridge, MA (Saturday 7pm - 11:30pm)

SUNDAY WORKSHOPS ONLY : Dabka, Saidi, Bedouin Zaffe, North African, Zaar. $140
@ Dance Complex Studio #1, 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Sunday 10:30am-4pm)

The student is responsible for their own Lodging, Transportation and Food.
There are many restaurants and hotels in the immediate area. Visit


CASSANDRA SHORE: Raqs Sharqi and Egyptian Folklore :

Cassandra is one of America's leading performers and teachers of Egyptian Raqs Sharqi and Middle Eastern folkloric dance. A distinctively musical dancer, you can hear Arabic music better when Cassandra dances to it. Her choreographies are closely tied to musical nuances. Her style is powerful yet understated. The legendary Egyptian dancer Ragia Hassan says, "Because Cassandra has come to Cairo for many years, you can see it in her dance. She is the first American dancer I saw that is very soft, very relaxed [and has the] Egyptian style. She is a very great dancer and teacher." Cassandra has been the lead instructor at Oasis Dance Camp since it was founded 23 years ago, and teaches internationally as well as in the U.S. She founded and directs the acclaimed Jawaahir Dance Company of Minneapolis, which established a seasonal concert series at The Southern Theater in Minneapolis, and has presented 110 formal concerts and 240 community concerts. Jawaahir has hosted 83 guest artists, including distinguished dancers, choreographers, composers, and musicians from the Middle East, and has collaborated and/or performed with 26 regional performing arts groups. Simon Shaheen has invited Cassandra to perform twice in his acclaimed Mahrajan al-Fan in New York City, a testament to her artistry as well as to her careful portrayal of the Arab dance arts. Watching Cassandra perform is an unforgettable experience. Taking class from her is a great opportunity for dancers of all skill and experience levels to delve deeper into the world of Middle Eastern dance.

KARIM NAGI: Arabic Music, Rhythm, Dabkaat, Seminar Organizer :

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian who has lived in the Boston area for over 20 years. Karim performs primarily Arabic, Turkish and Andalusian hand percussion, including the Egyptian Tabla (goblet drum), Riqq (tambourine) and Segat (brass castanets), plus Arab Folk Dances. Karim is a former faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music. Karim leads the SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble performing the classical Arabic instrumental and vocal repertoire. Karim travels the country presenting his education Arabiqa program, bringing Arabic Music, Dance and Culture to school grades 4 up through the university level. Karim developed and currently performs Turbo Tabla a music and dance show that combines traditional Arabic and Turkish music with modern Electronica and Techno. He has authored 3 instructional DVDs and 2 instructional CDs on Arab Rhythms and Drumming. Karim also dances Tahteeb Cane Dance and Dabka Arabic Line Dance and once lead the Zaitoun Dabka Troupe. For 5 years, before becoming a full time touring teacher and performer, he produced the wildly successful 'Arabesque Mondays' series at Club Passim in Harvard Square. His goal is to present music and dance as a single wholistic activity, fully integrated.

AMEL TAFSOUT: North African, Berber, and Bedouin :

Born in Algeria, AMEL TAFSOUT is an accomplished well respected Master Dancer and choreographer of North African MAGHREB DANCE, a dance anthropologist, a singer, a storyteller and a Language instructor. She has lectured, danced, taught, sung and conducted anthropological research all over the world. She performed in many European countries and the US. She lived in many European countries (France, Germany and the UK); she speaks four languages and has published articles in academic and popular magazines. She is the Director of "The Tafsoutettes", her dance company, formed in 2001. With her company Amel Tafsout aims to perform the dances of the Maghreb and other Arabic countries with skill and sincerity as well as to educate audiences about North African culture, most notably women's traditions and evolutions through dance, story telling but still retaining a sense of wit and sharing the spirit of celebration.

KAY HARDY CAMPBELL: Khaligi, Gulf Dance and Music :

For more than 25 years, Kay has taught Gulf women's folkloric dance across the U.S. to women at dancer-sponsored events as well as at academic institutions including MIT, Agnes Scott College, and Wellesley College. Women of the Gulf perform these dances in groups to celebrate occasions such as weddings, school graduations and national holidays. The women traditionally perform their dances in pairs or in groups. Kay learned these folk arts from the women of Saudi Arabia when she lived there for several years. While Kay doesn't perform these dances in public, she has coached and choreographed group dances for professional performers including Boston's Near East Dance Theatre, Libana and the Jawaahir Dance Company. She has been the featured folkloric instructor at Oasis Dance Camp four times. Kay speaks, reads and writes Arabic, having a BA in Arabic and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies. She also plays the `ud and helps direct the Arabic Music Retreat. Kay's goal with her classes is to share the joyous aspects of Arabian women's traditional culture with women in the West by letting them experience it firsthand through music and dance.

RACHID HALIHAL: Singer, Oudist, Violinist, featured performer for Saturday Concert :

As a world-class musician, Rachid Halihal brings to the community the true character and spirit of musics from the classical Egyptian repertoire which is much loved throughout the Middle East; from the Fertile Crescent; from diverse regions of Morocco and North Africa; and also the mezmerizing music of the Arabian Gulf. As a child, growing up in Fez, Morocco, Rachid played the nei and sang, imitating the famous singers of the time. At age fourteen he entered "Dar Aadyil" the Conservatory of Music in Fez. At first he studied Western classical and Andalus music on piano and violin. He soon expanded to include a variety of other instruments in order to better express his native music. In addition to his voice, which is best featured in the Andalus style, his strongest instruments are the oud (similar to a lute without frets) and the violin, which he plays in both the classical manner and upright resting on the knee for Moroccan folkloric music.

MEIVER DE LA CRUZ: Seminar Administrator :

Meiver, a Middle Eastern Dance performer and instructor in Boston, is a fiery entertainer specializing in Egyptian / Lebanese Cabaret style. With natural grace combined with her authentic feel for Arabic rhythms, sheÕs become one of BostonÕs favorite and most sought after performers. Her strong sense of rhythm fills her audience with excitement, leaving them mesmerized by the elegance, gracefulness and mystery of her movements. Beyond Raqs Sharqi, her repertoire includes double veil, sword balancing, raqs al assaya (cane dance from upper Egypt), Dabka, and the Muwashahaat rhythms of Andalusian origin. Having spent the first 16 years of her life in the Dominican Republic, Meiver grew up dancing to tropical rhythms like Salsa, Merengue and Bachata and carries the warmth of the Caribbean in her heart. She started her professional study of dance 10 years ago, covering a variety of genres which have come to influence her style.

Complete info, registration, videos, schedule and maps at:

Brought to you by Karim Nagi & Meiver De La Cruz

Help save Pandora Music

If you enjoy Pandora Music ( as much I do, then your help is needed to help save internet radio. I recieved the following message from Tim Westergreen, founder of Pandora:

"Hi, it's Tim from Pandora;
Today, thanks to the extraordinary support of many Pandora listeners, we took a giant step forward when the House of Representatives supported Pandora and Internet radio and passed the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. Now we need your help so that the Senate will pass it also - and quickly... The finish line is in sight!
After a yearlong negotiation, Pandora, SoundExchange and the RIAA are finally optimistic about reaching an agreement on royalties that would save Pandora and Internet radio. The legislation would give us the extra time we need to finalize the deal.
Please call your Senators Monday morning starting at 9:00 (Eastern) and ask them to support the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008.
The person who answers the phone in your Senator's office may ask for the bill number - it's H.R. 7084 (if they ask for a Senate bill number, you can assure them that in this unusual case, the Senate is actually voting on the House bill number).

If the phone is busy, please try again until you get through. These calls really do make a difference.
Thanks so much for you ongoing support.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summit Fire Benefit Concert for Sulyman

A Musician of Many Talents: Sulyman El Coyote lost all of his life's work in the Summit Fire. A Benefit concert for Sulyman will be held on Sunday July 6th.

WHEN : Sunday July 6th, 2008
TIME : 6:30 pm (doors open 6:00pm)
WHERE : at the Vets Hall 846 Front Street in Santa Cruz, CA
COST : $15 donation

DETAILS : Featuring world music by Sulyman, Sirocco and Orient¢al with belly dancers Delilah from Seattle and local favorites Sahar, Crystal, Mashuqa, many other amazing performers and a silent auction.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mother of All Frame Drums

I need some help from the blog readers out there. I purchased what I am calling "the mother of all frame drums" (MOAFD) a few months ago. (See the picture to the right).
MOAFD started its life as a display unit at the local Guitar Center. Its dimensions are: 36" wide x 6" deep. The sound is OK with the current head (a plastic, single ply) but the graphic leaves a lot to be desired. Here's where I need your help...

I'd like to purchase and put a new head on it, but I am unsure which head material to select. First of all there isn't a lot of selection for a 36" orchestral size bass drum, but I do have some choices. I've never played bass drum nor drum kit before, so I don't have an appreciation for the subtleties of the different drum head choices. I am hoping that one of you has the experience to guide me in making my selection for a new drum head:

  • Ambassador
  • Fiberskyn
  • Renaissance
  • Other??

I want to play this drum with my hands, like a frame drum. So the question is which of these head material choices will provide the best sound, with the most overtones? I plan to tighten it pretty tight. I am thinking that timpani head would be good, but they don't make 'em this large.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yemeni Music Concert in San Francisco

Ahamed Alrodini & Friends

Oud player, Singer, percussionist (dumbek and frame drum), Alrodini was born in Bakat Al Hoddeidah on the Red Sea coast of Yemen. Learning music informally from the time he was a small boy, Alrodini once made himself an oud from found objects including parts of a gas tank from an abandoned truck. He first came to the United States in 1988 on a tour with Fouad Al Kibsi and Haifa Omar, prominent Yemeni musicians. He started performing on Yemeni Radio & TV as a teenager in Sanaa. Alrodini is one of only a few Brooklyn, NY based artists who come from the South/Red Sea area and his expertise in that region's polyrhthmic percussion music is a rarity. He's also steeped in the many regional styles, including the more classical Sanaani poetry songs.

WHEN: Saturday June 28th
TIME: 7pm
COST: Tickets are $40

Call (646) 594-6026

Union Hall
240 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco 94102
415 885-0087

* see link to directions below

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arabic music at the Cayuga Vault

Don't miss this wonderful weekend of Arabic music at the Cayuga Vault in Santa Cruz July 12 & 13:

Intensive Weekend Seminar in Arabic Music with composer Elias Lammam of Beirut, Lebanon
When: Sat & Sun July 12th - 13th
Date: 1:00pm - 5:30pm each day
A rare opportunity for musicians trained in western, classical, jazz, or other musical traditions to obtain a comprehensive introduction to Arabic music and learn several classic songs in just two days, with Elias Lammam, one of the most knowledgeable and talented Arabic musicians in the U.S.

Presented by Mediterraneo Productions To register please call 831-227-9514

Early registration deadline for the music seminar is June 30.
Take one or more classes for $40 each, or take the entire workshop plus concert ticket for $175 by 6/30 (after 6/30: $50 per class or $200 for entire workshop plus concert ticket)
Four 2-hour classes:
Saturday: Maqams/Arabic Music Theory and Arabic Rhythms
Sunday: Vocals (co-taught by Georges Lammam) and Ensemble class
For details or to download printable registration form please see:

And an Evening Concert by:

The Georges Lammam Ensemble featuring Elias Lammam
Saturday July 12th - 8pm
tix $18/$22 adv. tix available at Gateways Books & Gifts (831) 429-9600

Mediterraneo Productions presents an evening of exquisite Arabic music with Elias Lammam, master of microtonal accordion, and his brothers: violin virtuoso Georges Lammam, and Antoine Lammam, master of Arabic percussion (tabla, riq), presenting classical and popular Arabic music as well as original compositions.

At the Cayuga Vault 1100 Soquel Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95062
"Supporting Original Music, Emerging Art, and Diverse Culture"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vdeo Podcast: Stretching exercises

David Kuckherman posted some exercises for avoidng tendonitis and carpel tunnel strain. These exercises stretcht the tendons and muscles in your hands and arms.

Here's David's website:

Here's the video:

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Weekend of Arabic Music with Elias Lammam

Mediterraneo Productions proudly presents:

A Weekend of Arabic Music with Elias Lammam
July 12-13, 2008 at the Cayuga Vault
1100 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA

Master of microtonal accordion, renowned vocalist and composer from Beirut, Lebanon, Elias Lammam has been a featured musician on worldwide concert tours with famed Iraqi singer KASEM AL SAHER, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York, and toured with other notable singers Rageb Alame, George Wasouf, Ghassan Saliba, Joseph Noumnom. He has also toured with superstar Oriental dancer AMANI of Lebanon and dancer SAMARA, and has composed for Egyptian dancer DINA and many others. He is currently a core member of the Georges Lammam Ensemble, introducing Americans to the remarkable Oriental Accordion. He plays annually to standing ovations at the Cotati Accordion Festival in Cotati, CA. He currently instructs two music ensemble classes in northern California and offers private instruction in accordion, voice, percussion, oud, and other instruments. Elias makes a rare stop in Santa Cruz, CA to offer an intensive 2-day seminar in Arabic music, and he and his virtuoso brothers, Georges and Antoine, as the Georges Lammam Ensemble, will play an evening concert featuring classical and popular Arabic music, original works, and favorite tunes for open floor dancing.

Two-day Intensive Music Seminar: Introduction to Arabic Music
July 12 & 13, 1:00 pm - 5:30pm each day (Sat & Sun)
Four classes, 2 hours each:
Maqams, Rhythms, Vocal Techniques, and Ensemble Class
An intensive introduction to Arabic music for instrumentalists and vocalists trained in Western classical, jazz, or other musical traditions, and beginning- to intermediate-level students of Arabic music.

Dancers without formal musical backgrounds, but with experience on zils or percussion may wish to try out the rhythms class, and if you enjoy singing, the vocals class. You may also be interested in the Maqams class, which will cover Arabic music theory (musical modes & scales, cultural & historic background). If you don't have/can't play a melodic instrument you may enroll & just listen or sing the notes. Georges Lammam will assist in teaching the vocals class.

Take one or more classes for $40 each (by June 30) or $50 each (after June 30).
Or register for entire weekend: $175 for all 4 classes plus 1 concert ticket (by June 30).
After June 30: $200 for entire weekend.

Further details and registration form available at:


Evening Concert

WHEN: Saturday, July 12, 8:00pm
The Georges Lammam Ensemble, featuring Elias Lammam
Classical & popular Arabic music and original works by the renowned Lammam brothers.
$18 Adv/$22 at the door
Advance tickets available at Gateways Books & Gifts
1126 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz
Order by phone at: 831-429-9600

Both events will be held at the Cayuga Vault in Santa Cruz

For more information about these events and other upcoming Arabic music & dance events in the San Francisco Bay Area, please see:

For lodging and other Santa Cruz visitor info:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

World of Drumming II, Grass Valley CA

WORLD OF DRUMMING II is a Percussion Extravaganza featuring Drumming from Around the World. This fundraising event strives to help St. Joseph's Cultural Center in Grass Valley raise additional funds to pay for yearly insurance costs.

WHEN: Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:00 PM
WHERE: St. Joseph’s Cultural Center, 410 South Church Street, Grass Valley
WHO: Grass Valley Taiko, the Earth Rhythms Dancers and Drummers, Capoeira Em Movimento Grass Valley, Joe Fajen and friends, the Feather River Singers, the Blue Lotus Percussion Ensemble, Grupo Omo Ache, Samba Louco with Jeff Wax, and other special guests. Rarely are so many talented percussionists assembled in one venue.
ADMISSION: $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door Advance Ticket Purchase is Highly Recommended.

Tickets available at the BriarPatch Co-op in Grass Valley, After the Gold Rush Records in Nevada City and at the office of St. Joseph's Cultural Center

Information: Joseph Guida at St. Joseph's Cultural Center 530-272-4725


Join us as we honor the traditions of the drum and celebrate its power to unify humanity.
Man has been beating on drums from as far back as history records. Among numerous other artifacts found through the years, hollowed out logs were excavated that were believed to be communication devices in primitive times. Drums would later take a more prominent role in tribal ceremonial gatherings where they accompanied ritual dancing and celebration

The concept of drums is as old as mankind. A drum is called a membranophone, or an instrument that creates sound by striking a stretched membrane with some type of object, usually a rounded stick. Drums consist of a hollowed-out piece (called the body), a membrane stretched over the end of the drum, and tuning keys or pegs which tighten or loosen the membrane to achieve different tones. While most may think that the body of the drum produces the sound, it is in fact actually the membrane and its vibration that creates the sound when struck.
Drums first appeared as far back as 6000 BC. Mesopotamian excavations unearthed small cylindrical drums dated 3000 BC. Several wall markings found in caves in Peru show drums used in various aspects of societal life. The American Indians used gourd and wooden constructed drums for their rituals and ceremonies. Drums have always been used for more than merely creating music. In Africa, where music is simply an interpretation of everyday life in sound, drums were used as speech. Simply a pattern of beats played in a certain way could communicate vast amounts of information. Today, drums can be made of everything from plastic to basic metal, and some even exist in iron, bronze and steel.
The Performers

Grass Valley Taiko was founded in 2000 from modest beginnings as a basic Taiko workshop conducted in Grass Valley. Taiko, a Japanese style of drumming has a long and rich history, It was used to call the Gods to alter existing conditions such as warding off pestilence, bringing rain, blessing a harvest or inviting the ancestors to join in celebration of the family. Villages used the drums to communicate; soldiers were sent to war and fisherman called in from the sea. In 2004 founder Mitzi Garnett took lead of the group's direction and today the group has over 50 members ranging in ages from 7 – 70 and makes Taiko Dojo home in historic Saint Joseph's Cultural Center in Grass Valley. Grass Valley Taiko conducts classes 4-6 times per week and actively participates in many community and educational events, among these events are the Nevada County Fair, school assemblies, parades, wedding receptions, picnics, grand openings, and dedications. Mitzi Garnett combines her creative interpretations of traditional pieces with those created by Grass Valley Taiko to present a cornucopia of styles and rhythms which intrigues and delights audiences of all ages. Visit the dojo online at

Joe Fajen became a tabla convert and student of North Indian classical tabla playing in 1989 while living in Davis. Right away he had the happy fortune of taking tabla classes with Zakir Hussain in Berkeley, which continued for a number of years. Joe also studied tabla with Swapan Chaudhuri, Arshad Sayed, and Ty Burhoe. Joe plays tabla for classical Indian instrumentalists whenever he can. He also loves to accompany kirtan and kathak dance. He plays with Ross Kent, Roses, Roses, Jaya Lakshmi, Simrit Kaur & Jai Dev Singh, Angelika and others. He often accompanies and collaborates with kathak dancer Anya Devi and cellist Arthur Gould. He plays trombone in Sabroso, a local Latin jazz band, and studies trombone and music theory with Ludi Hinrichs in Nevada City. Joe teaches drum workshops from time to time and teaches privately. For this night he will be performing with Andrew Gold on cello and Linton Hall on Bansuri flute

Capoeira Raca Em Movimento: Capoeira is a Brazilian cultural art form encompassing elements of martial arts, dance, music, and acrobatics. It was developed by African slaves in Brazil as a fighting technique disguised as a dance. Movement is accompanied by music played on traditional instruments and songs that tell of the history of this ritual combat. Although Capoeira is considered a martial art, it is practiced and "played" with little or no contact. Kicks, strikes, and sweeps are displayed and defended against within a "game" between two players who improvise their movements to the music and song provided by on looking capoeiristas (players) awaiting their turn to play. Professor Joao Marcio Pires comes to us from Sao Paulo, Brazil where he studied Capoeira and graduated with his Professor's cordao (belt) under Mestre Enir at the Capoeira Raca Em Movimento school in the city of Braganca Paulista. In October of 2005 Professor Joao Marcio began teaching classes in Grasss Valley establishing our local Capoeira Raca Em Movimento group. Learning this dynamic art form involves the integration of strength, flexibility, agility, endurance, discipline, rhythm, and more. Classes are currently taught at the Sierra Dance Institute in Grass Valley on Tuesdays at 7:00pm, Thursdays at 7:45pm, and Saturday's at 11:00am and is open to all levels and ages. For more information call (530) 277-9743 or email
Earth Rhythm Dancers and Drummers are based in Nevada City, CA, is a group of performers that presents dances, drum rhythms and songs from the Congo, West Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and North America. Most of the group's performing repertoire are traditional dance and drum pieces from the cultures that some members have apprenticed with, and some pieces are a collective choreography creation by the members of this troupe. Earth Rhythms performances are high energy, energetic presentations that depict the power and love of the life force in the members of the collective and in the cultures from which the dance pieces derive their roots.
Feather River Singers is a Women’s Drum with exciting energy, a soothing beat and original style in Cherokee and English. They are dedicated to preserving their native language through songs. Their debut CD “Daughters of the Earth” features all original materials by group members breaks into new territory in Native music. Prentice Robinson, Cherokee linguist from Tulsa, Oklahoma acted as language consultant for this project. Inspired by The Mankillers, Walela and Ulali, these women bring melody and a Cherokee touch to their songs. Their first recording efforts received national recognition from the 8th Annual Native American Music Awards when their album was nominated for Debut Artist/Group of the Year. The album title, “Daughters of the Earth”, reflects the theme of their CD. The sound studio was in a natural outdoor setting; microphones were placed in trees so bird sounds became part of the recording. Larry Badger and Curt Burrows of Joyful Sound recorded the album on location. Badger later mixed and mastered the final CD in Joyful Sound’s Yuba City studio. The album insert was designed by the singers, and former member LE Honyecutt is credited with the original artwork. The insert depicts the Great Smokey Mountains of the Cherokee homeland, with the seven birds representing the seven Cherokee clans.
"We are women, woman singers.We understand that the songs are prayers.And to consent to sing is to serve."-Coyote Woman 2007-Feather River Singers are Jesse Harris, Choctaw, Gwen Cochran, Cherokee/Comanche, Anna Eyre, Cherokee/Choctaw, LE Honeycutt, Cherokee/Choctaw/Blackfoot and Barbara Warren, Cherokee; Front row: Kathleen Shain, Cherokee/Choctaw, Seth Honeycutt, Cherokee/Choctaw/Blackfoot and Pam Ames, Cherokee

Blue Lotus Percussion Ensemble performs the music of Morocco and Middle East on Mizwiz (reed flute), Karakeb (metal clackers), bender (frame drum with snares), and doumbec (clay hand drum).

Grupo Omo Ache performs rhythms and chants or praise songs to the Orishas. The Orishas are Yoruban deities that represent the divine force of nature, the universe and all aspects of human life. The hour glass shaped drums known as bata, were originally brought to Cuba from Nigeria by Yoruban slaves. The bta are said to “speak” the ritual language of the Orishas. Gary Greenberg is the Director.

Samba Louco Percussion group Samba Louco brings together Placer and Nevada County lovers of Brazilian rhythms. Beginning with Nevada City's annual Joe Cain and Mardi Gras procession entries, led by Sarah Keller and Kit Bailey, the group has played its danceable grooves for parades, festivals and dance classes from North San Juan all the way to Auburn. Samba Louco ("crazy samba") got its name and a seriously fun upgrade when Jeff Wax of Meadow Vista brought his drumming friends and sparkling arrangements to Deanna Figueira's dance classes at St. Joseph's in 2007

A World of Drumming II is a benefit for St. Joseph's Cultural Center insurance costs.
Last year’s benefit for insurance costs featured Joanna Newsom and Aaron Ross. Last year’s benefit was a huge success.

A World of Drumming I took place in November, 2006 at the Center for the Arts as a benefit for Tibet Tech, which funded a computer lab in a Tibetan Nunnery in southern India. It was a sold out success.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Part II David Kuckhermann with N Scott Robinson

Here's the second video with N. Scott Robinson. This ia nice session where N. Scott plays on the frame drum.

Monday, May 19, 2008

David Kuckhermann NAFDA with N Scott Robinson

Here's a great video of N. Scott Robinson on Kanjira

Friday, May 16, 2008

Christopher Hardy Cooperman Drum

Check out this beauty, designed for Christopher Hardy by Cooperman Drums. Christopher describes it as a cross between a Bendir and a Riq. WOW - I want one..
You won't find it on the Cooperman website, looks like you'll need to call and custom order it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Art of Ghatam and Konnakol by Sri T. H. Subash Chandran

This 2 DVD set is now avialable for sale on

T. H Subash Chandran is one of the leading artists of Carnatic percussion and is recognized as the "King of Konnakol". On this first of its kind DVD, Sri Subash Chandran shares his knowledge on the ghatam, the clay pot of South Indian percussion, and konnakol, the art of vocal percussion.
The ghatam lessons are approached from the beginning with introduction to strokes, playing patterns, compositions, korvai, mora, and varied talams. The konnakol lesson starts from basic vocalization patterns, building to compositions, and korvais. Demonstrating the guru student relationship, Sri Subash Chandran works through the vocalizations carefully and then performs them at faster speeds. The material provides a foundation for long term drumming of many traditions. The vocalizations are printed right on the screen for study and accompanyment.
Additionally there are fantastic solos and an interview with Sri Subash Chandran on his life in music and thoughts for learning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Riqq Video by Nader Marcos

Here's some nice Riqq work by Nader Marcos:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Frame Drum Gathering this weekend!

American Frame Drum Gathering
May 16-18, 2008
Where: Asheville, NC USA
More Info:
Hosted by River Guerguerian & the FrameDrummer Group

Mission Statement:
An International Event that will feature the incredibly diverse family of the Frame Drum; designed to support and promote its aesthetic value. Workshops and performances will feature traditional and contemporary styles from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia, South & North America, and India.

The drums include Tar, Kanjira, Tamburello, Ghaval, Riq Tambourine, Pandeiro, Bodhran, etc…

Teachers, professionals, and hobbyists, will come together to share the technical, cultural, and medicinal aspects of this ancient drum.

Cooperman Drums will be demonstrating and selling

$50 – Registration
$100 - $200 sliding scale Teacher Fee
-no one will be refused on the basis of money

For Registration and more info (including lodging):
contact River – tel. –

SCHEDULE: (subject to change)

May 16:
Bobo Gallery, 22 Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
4:00 pm-6:00 pm - Meet and Greet/Playing,
6:00 pm-7:00pm – Discussion –
“Historical and Medicinal aspects of the drum”
7:00 pm-8:00 pm – Clinic – Chris Sampson; “Promoting
your music”

May 17:
Workshops - Namaste Yoga Center, 57 Broadway,
Asheville, NC 28801
tel. 828-253-6985
9:30 am – Registration
9:45 am-10:45 am – “My Favorite Warm-ups” Group
with Tips featuring all the teachers
10:45 am– 12:00 pm - Workshop – Jon Singer;
“Kanjira and it’s applications to other Frame Drums”
including a crash
course on Carnatic music
(Jon will also bring his Mrudangam)
12:00 pm-1:00 pm – Workshop – David, River, and
“Middle Eastern Percussion Styles and Demonstrations”
with Tar, Riq,
(and even a little Doumbek)
1:00 pm-2:00 pm – Lunch and group knowledge exchange
2:00-3:30 – “Uzebkistan Doira”
3:30pm-5:00pm – Workshop - Rafael Pereira;
“Pandeiro Styles and Applications”
5:00 pm-6:30pm - Patrick Graham;
“Irish Bodhran Applications and More”
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm - free time
9:00 pm - 12:00 am: Performance Concert @ Bobo
Gallery-$8 cover;
all teachers and other performers, including
Lotus Women’s Frame Drummers Group

May 18
Workshops - Namaste Yoga Center
11:00 am-12:30 pm – Workshop - David Kuckhermann;
“Persian hand drumming techniques and applications”
12:30 pm-1:30 pm – Lunch and group knowledge sharing
1:30 pm-2:30 pm – Workshop – River Guerguerian;
“Composing, Improvising, and Studio applications
of the modern Frame Drum”
2:30 pm-4:00 pm Workshop - David & River;
“Multiple Frame Drum set-ups”
*all events are in downtown Asheville and are within walking distance*
*more details to be announced as they progress*

Faisel Zeden Riqq Videos

Here are a couple of Riqq solos by Faisel Zeden:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ensemble Zarbang Video 4

Ensemble Zarbang starts their US tour this week. Here a video of their performance. Tour details:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ensemble Zarbang Video 3

Ensemble Zarbang starts their US tour this week. Here a video of their performance.
Tour details:

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ensemble Zarbang Video 2

Ensemble Zarbang starts their US tour this week. Here a video of their performance. Tour details:

I love the Udu in this video:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ensemble Zarbang Video 1

Ensemble Zarbang starts their US tour this week. Here a video of their performance.
Tour details:

Karim Nagi and Turbo Tabla in Santa Cruz, CA

Karim Nagi and TURBO TABLA Dance Party & Show Egyptian Percussionist, Folk Dancer, International Recording Artist, and DJ. Live Drumming and Dancing by Karim,with Guest Dancers Sahar, Janelle, Adriana and Rebekahand DJ TURBO TABLA spinning Arabic Middle Eastern, Indian House/Electronica, and traditionalDabke and Belly Dance tunes for social dancing

When: Saturday, May 17th, 8PM
Where: The Cayuga Vault, Santa Cruz, CA


When: Sunday May 18th @ 1pm - 6pm
Where: at DanceSynergy Studio in Aptos

1. Musicality For Dancers:
Despite any mastery of technique and bodily dexterity, true dance expression requires musicality. The best dancers are those who emulate the music into their own movement. Karim will demystify Arab music for the dancer. Several recurring themes in Arab music will be identified (using recorded examples) and explained in emotive, non musical terms. The class will cover Taksim, Melodic Themes, Vocal vs Instrumental Songs, Rhythms & Rhythmic Changes, Melodic Modulation, Song Structure, Orchestration and Instrumentation. Karim will guide the students through several songs and lead them in dancing to each of these themes. This is a movement class that will help the dancer become the physical personification of the music.

2. Essential Tahteeb & Assaya (Folkloric Dances of Egypt)
Dancing with sticks and canes is a quintessential expression in Egyptian village dance. Most prevelent in Southern Egypt among the "Saidi", Tahteeb (for men) and Raqs Assaya (women) is a bold yet gracefull dance with the cane prop. A unisex style is taught that contains both the male Tahteeb bravado and mock combat, along with the Assaya flirtation and spunk. Karim teaches with the strait cane (any dowel between 3' and 4') and covers all the basic spins, flips and strikes. He stresses ambidexterous technique and utilizes both hands for the entire lesson. Double Cane is also taught, culminating in a short standard "friendly battle" choreography.

Workshop Registration:
May 1 or later: $50 each or $95 for both
To register, send check or money order with appropriate payment and the information below to:
Mediterraneo Productions PO Box 1741 Capitola, CA 95010
1. Your name, phone number and email address
2. Specify which workshop(s) you wish to attend
3. Number of show tickets you would like, if any ($15 each)
Pre-registration is highly encouraged, as workshops may fill up prior to the workshop date!
To confirm space availability, please call or email 7 days prior to the event date:

More details:

Note: Karim has a whole set of upcoming events in California in the coming months. Check out his calendar online:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Raquy & The Cavemen Playing in Santa Cruz, CA

Raquy & The Cavemen are playing in Santa Cruz this weekend. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's a chance to see one of the premier Middle Eastern Music groups, and catch a drumming workshop.

Who: Raquy & The Cavemen
When: Friday, May 9th 8 p.m.
The Cayuga Vault, 1100 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, near Gateways
Books and The Crepe Place (a fun area to hand out)
Cost: $10
Tickets: at
Rhythm Fusion in downtown Santa Cruz (423-2048) , or at
the door. Limited seating, so consider advance tickets. Plus...
you'll get to spend time at Rhythm Fusion... well worth the time by


Middle Eastern Drumming Workshop at Rhythm Fusion on Saturday, May 10 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Cost: $25

Support Marla Leigh's Rhythms in Peace DVD Fundraising Project

Marla Leigh is producing a Rhythms in Peace project, which is a landmark CD and DVD sacred music series that brings together Grammy-winning musicians and other world class artists with tribal musicians from across the globe. Some proceeds from this project will help aid women's sacred drumming groups in developing countries (Morocco and Egypt).

What: A Fundraising Event
When: Saturday, May 17, 8 PM
Where: Bonsorte Studio, 2410 Lincoln Blvd, Venice CA .
Cost: $20 presale/$25 door
Details: Come DANCE the night away for a good cause, with:
*Marla's world music ensemble, Rhythmjuju*(opening meditation),
Saul David Raye*(musical guests), Suzanne Teng & Suzanne Sterling*(dance) Jacqui Lalita, & Debbie Striessinger*organic chocolate & wine, silent auction & more....

About the project:

Rhythms in Peace is a revolutionary, one-of-a kind album of original and traditional healing trance music.

Confirmed artists:
* Glen Velez, 3 time Grammy-Winning Percussionist (USA)
* Houryarites, Women's drumming/vocal group, (MOROCCO)
* Zar women's trance-healing drumming group (EGYPT)
* Brahim Fribgane, Oudist, Music coordinator of Moroccan part of project (MOROCCO).
* Jef Stott, Six Degrees Artist, Producer (USA)
* Greg Hunter, World renowned Programmer (UK)
* Lori Cotler, Vocalist, (USA)
* Randy Gloss, Percussionist, (USA)
* Raquy Danziger, Percussionist, (USA/ISRAEL).
* David Kuckerman, Percussionist, (USA/GERMANY)
* Evan Fraser, Kalimbist, JawHarpist, (USA)
* TBird- Luv, Flautist, (USA)
*more artists tba

There will also be an educational, documentary DVD created about the music traditions of Morocco.

Music is a sacred art as it serves as one of the oldest forms of healing in the world. Music can be a point of reconnection to ourselves, our families and our global community.

How wide a web can music weave? Accomplished musician-composer Marla Leigh intends to find out through creating a sacred music experience entitled Rhythms in Peace.

From gypsy musicians to Grammy winning artists, Rhythms in Peace seeks to bridge different cultures through music. World music artists from many countries will collaborate on this rich and inspiring project and Marla, with her Rhythms in Peace music and video team, will travel around the globe to record with the various musicians listed above.


Phase One:
August - September 2008 - Travel to Marrakech and Essouria Morocco, to record with the Houryarites, as well as with various Berber and Gnawa musicians.

Phase Two:
January - February 2009 - Travel to Egypt and Israel to record with the Zar Women's drumming troupe and Bedouin musicians.

Phase Three:
May 2009 - Rhythms in Peace CD and DVD release date and tour starts; CD and DVD to be distributed internationally.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Video: Blogs in Plain English

Are you curious about what blogging is all about?

I found the perfect explanation of how blogging works, if you're curious.

This short video explains it all, in the simplest terms I've found yet. (the video is entertaining by itself...)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Intermediate / Advanced Doumbek Workshop, May 25, 2008

Middle Eastern master percussionist, Faisal Zedan, will be conducting an intermediate to advanced-level workshop to share his graceful playing style and expertise in the doumbek. This will be an incredible opportunity for you to hone your existing doumbek playing skills.

When: Sunday, May 25, 2008
Time: 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Where: Newman Hall - Holy Spirit Parish
2700 Dwight Way at College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

Cost: $50

Class Size: 10 drummers, max.
Skill Level: As this will be a multi-level workshop appropriate for intermediate to advanced drummers, participants should be proficient with basic techniques as these will not be covered in the workshop.

Topics that will be included in the workshop:
• Refinement of techniques to optimize your strengths.
• Exploring the full potential of your hands - posture, flexibility, relaxation.
• Merging and transition of rhythms in different time signatures.
• Hand and finger rolls.
• Exercises to develop each skill.

Please bring your drum, recorder, and notepad.

For more information, email Faisal:
To register, email:

Faisal's website

Demonstrating his graceful style

Showing three ways of playing Qarshi

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Middle Eastern Treasures Concert, April 20, 2008

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 20th in Oakland there will be an afternoon of Music, Drums and Dance presented by master percussionist Mary Ellen Donald.

Special Note: For the first time in its long history, this event is not a potluck.

  • Nazir Latouf, Syrian born: oud and vocals
  • Mary Ellen Donald: doumbec, cymbals, zarb, tambourine and frame drum
  • Belly Dance by Brynn Mercedes
  • Belly Dance by Michelle Joyce
  • Silk Road Caravan: Afghani and Anatolian music Directed by Kevin Cloud
  • VARIETY PACK! chorus directed by Lauren Carley ~ Three Percussion Ensembles performing Mary Ellen's originals
  • Audience Dancing
WHEN: Sunday, April 20th, 2008
TIME: 2:00 to 5:00pm
LOCATION: Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., near Broadway, Oakland, 94609 (parking lots available for early arrivers) for directions visit
COST: $16.00. . . includes a variety of beverages and light snacks
Children under 12: $8.00 ~ No sales in advance

For details call Mary Ellen at (510)654-DRUM (3786)
Click here for flyer:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Drum Classes for beginning Doumbec, Tar & Riq

If you live in the San Francisco Bay area and you are interested in beginning Doumbec, Tar & Riq classes, I highly recommend these classes with Mike Fair AKA Faraz. I first met Mike at a local drum circle several years ago and was impressed with his vast knowledge of middle eastern rhythms. When he offered classes, I immediately signed up. I've learned a lot of great technique for the Riq from Mike over the years.

Mike is the drummer for Meridian Major.

Come enjoy the fun & easy "sing-song" style to playing drums with Faraz.
Costs: $15 - $20 per session, early reservations rewarded with lowest fee.

In San Jose on April 30 @ 7:15PM At Khajulahs' Studio
In Sunnyvale on April 27 @1:30PM At Lunatic Fringe Studio

WHERE: Khajulah’s Home Studio
609 Minor Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125
(Between Downtown SJ and Willow Glen, near 280, Bird Exit. Easy access via public trannsportation: light rail and bus route 64)
To secure your space, please contact Patrice/Khajulah: patrice-khajulah AT excite DOT com408-279-8524

For more information, please contact Mike/Faraz: msfair AT comcast DOT net

Old blog postings:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

N.Scott Robinson appearing at the International Native American Flute Association Convention

For those who haven't heard the news, N. Scott Robinson will be the in-house world percussionist for the 2008 INAFA convention. Scott will be appearing on stage with a variety of Native American Flute players. The performances which will be held each evening of the convention. Scott is no newcomer to the Native American Flute, as he has appeared on several recordings, most notably with Mark Holland and Autumns Child.
When: July 9-13, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Marla Leigh Frame Drum Workshop in San Francisco


Marla Leigh is presenting a frame drum workshop in San Francisco in two weekends from now..

She will cover many things, such as:

  • Frame Drum playing styles (lap, tar, free hand)
  • Hand drum notation
  • Composing for hand drums
  • Traditional Middle Eastern/Indian/African Rhythms
  • Improvising in all meters (based off of North/South Indian rhythmic theories)
  • Solkattu exercises
  • and much more.


  • DATE: April 27, 2008, from 2-5pm
  • Workshop is geared for both beginning and well-seasoned players.
  • All info and registration can be found at the link below.
  • Drums are provided and sold at discounted rates.


Friday, April 11, 2008

So what do you think about the new Blog Header?

I took a creative moment this afternoon to create a new header for the blog. What do you think? Should I keep it?

Monday, April 07, 2008

2008 LP catalog now available

I noticed that LP has released their 2008 catalog. You can download your copy here:

New for 2008:

They have a new angled Cajon out this year. Look's very cool. (I know that this isn't a frame drum, but I thought that my regular readers would appreciate the style of this new percussion instrument...))

Also new this year is a new rainstick, which LP is marketing as the "longest rainshower on the market". Pretty cool looking design

Thursday, March 27, 2008

NAFDA Frame Drum Fest starts tomorrow

This weekend is the big event for the North American Frame Drum Association. The first annual Frame Drum fest is taking place in Baltimore, MD. It's sold out, and I am sure that it will be an awesome event. They have a line up of amazing and talented musicians presenting and performing.

If you go, I'd love to hear about your experience. I'd even be happy to post your reviews of the event on the blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tobias Roberson has a new Finger Cymbal DVD

Tobias Roberson, has a new DVD out covering finger cymbal or zills. I haven't seen it, but this could be an interesting DVD. Tobias is a bay area musician, and teacher. If you live in the bay area be sure to check out his performances with various belly dancing troups and other traveling artists.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frame Drum Stands from Schlagwerk

Are you looking for way to secure your frame drums to a stand so that you can play with both hands or in a kit format?

The figure above is the RTH 10 Cross-Frame Holder from Schlagwerk instruments. Useful for securing a frame drum with a cross brace (e.g. Bodhran)

The figure above is the RTH 20 Frame Drum Holder from Schlagwerk.

For more info:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Join 8,000 Drums on March 21, 2008

I encourage you to be a part of this worldwide drumming event. To help spread peace and heal mother earth.
"According to a Sacred Prophecy revealed at the Otomi Ceremonial Center by the Otomi Elder Sages as a Vision of our Venerable Ancestors, the day when the sounds of 8,000 Sacred Drums join together will be the beginning of the healing of Mother Earth"
WHEN: March 21, 2008
TIME: 10 AM - 12 PM (CST) / 8 AM - 10 AM (PST)
WHAT: Play your drums prayfully. Send your prayers for understanding, tolerance, healing and happiness to those around you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Jas's Middle Eastern Rhythms

If you are looking for one of the most definite, online resources for Middle Eastern Drumming Rhythms, then the best place that I have found is Jas's Middle Eastern Rhythms page.

Jas lists a few hundred rhythms in notation form along with a MIDI file (very useful if you can't quite get the rhythm).

Also, there is a FAQ page on the site with ton's of great information. It's in a variety of languages.

Finally, one of the really cool gems is the online Rhythm generator, which will produce and play a custom Rhythm for you. You can also have it generate a MIDI file for you to store and play back offline or with your synthesizer:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wanna promote your event? Check out

I just stumbled into a cool new online site dedicated to promoting events. It's called "" ( I haven't used it yet, but it looks like a great place to look for events as well as promote events online. The best part is that it's free.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Arabic character for Riq is...

Finally, I have discovered the the arabic word for Riq.
Here it is : رق
I have been searching for this word, as I have wanted to create a T-Shirt with it on it, but since I am not a native Arabic speaker, I didn't have a clue. Plus I certainly didn't want to put something stupid, in another language, on a T-Shirt. [Nothing worse than wearing the Arabic equivalent of "Kick Me"].

I finally stumbled onto it on the
Riq entry page on the Wikipedia site. I hope that this is the correct word/character. If I have misrepresented this, please let me know in the comments section of this blog article.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

NAFDA Frame Drum Fest, March 28-30

The North American Frame Drum Association is presenting the first annual Frame Drum Fest later this month on March 28-30, 2008 in Mendham, New Jersey (USA).

I just got word that there is an opening for one more attendee (apparently somebody had to cancel...). So if you were hoping to attend, but unable to get in, this may be your chance!

Please contact N. Scott Robinson at if you would like to attend. The festival
costs is only $375.00, which includes room and board (2 nights and 7 meals), 2 concerts, 1 clinic, 2 presentation, and 9 workshops with an amazing list of frame drum artists.

A complete schedule is included below

Final & Confirmed Schedule:

COST: $375.00 per person for entire festival
WHERE: Mendham, NJ - USA.


FRIDAY: March 28, 2008

11:00 am - 2:30 pm - Meet & Greet.

3:00 pm - 4:20 pm - Workshop: Marla Leigh - Intro to Frame Drumming and Improvisation (Tar).

4:30 pm -5:30 pm - Clinic: Jamey Haddad - Frame Drums & Looping.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Dinner on site.

7:30 - 9:30 pm - Concert: [click on links to learn more about the performers]

Post-concert: Evening hang / practice / jam sessions


SATURDAY: March 29, 2008

8:00 am - 8:45 am - Breakfast on site.

9:00 am - 10:20 am - Workshop: Rafael Pereíra - Modern Pandeiro & Tamborim Styles.

10:30 am - 12:00 pm - Workshop: Abbos Kosimov - Techniques of Uzbek Doyra.

12:00 - 1:00 pm - Lunch on site.

1:10 - 2:00 pm - Presentation by N. Scott Robinson on "Conservation, Performance, Practice, and Pedagogy: Issues in Kanjira Research in India.

2:10 - 3:20 pm - Workshop: Steafan Hannigan - Traditional Irish Bodhran.

3:30 - 5:30 pm - Workshop: Andrea Piccioni - Italian Tamburello Styles.

5:30 - 7:00 pm - Dinner on site / Break.

7:30 - 9:30 pm - Concert:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Raquy and the Cavemen coming to California in May 2008

Here's a listing of their tour dates:

Tuesday, May 6 - Eureka CAMore Details Soon

Thursday May 8 - Sacramento CAwith UnmataMore Details Soon

Friday, May 9, 8pm - SHOW in Santa Cruz CAPresented by Rhythm Fusion$10 CoverCayuga Vault, 1100 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 831 421 9471

Saturday, May 10, 11:30am - WORKSHOP in Santa Cruz CAPresented by Rhythm FusionAll-Levels Dumbek Workshop - Bring your own drumCayuga Vault, 1100 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 831 421 9471

May 16-18 - Tribalfest, Sebastopol CA

More info here: