Alan Tauber is a gifted percussionist, musician, facilitator and educator who has spent over 40 years sharing his passion for drumming and healing with the community. In 1990 he established DrumConnection, New England's largest hand drumming school located near Boston in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Alan has taught West African, Haitian, and Cuban percussion to thousands of students. Over the years Alan has specialized in West African music of the Djembe and Doundoun drums, studying and performing with Master Drummers such as more >
Liz is a very tallented drummer who has been with DrumConnection for over 10 years. Her dedication to drumming and the community has lead her to rise to be our Advanced Class Instructor, not an easy job to own.
A true community creator and excellent drummer, Liz will win you over with her sensitivities and grand smile!
If you are lucky enough to study with Liz, you will be filled with not only rhythm and history, but a joy that you will carry with you throughout the week and maybe your life! Contact Liz >
Thierno is a great addition to our DrumConnection Faculty. You will find Thierno very friendly and very African! He is from Guinea, West Africa and is helping with drum building and teaching beginner drum classes for us.
Whether it is for children for Adults, Thierno is the person you want to study with. He is patient, kind and very considerate. You will learn a lot about not only the drum but it's birth, history and social significance.
Nancy is one of a kind! Her classes are so much fun while she maintains the integrity of the rhythms and the history. She plays solo djembe very well and Mamady Keita has given her the honor of kicking off a performance show to play the opening solo!
With Nancy (a graduate of DrumConnection's Teacher Training Program), you will have a great time really learning the rhythms while creating a community bond that feels great! Contact Nancy >
The newest member of DrumConnection teacher roster is Lillian. She's worked hard in the Teacher Training Program and it's paid off as she is our teacher of beginners at Newton Community Ed, Newton, MA.
Lillian always wants the students to be happy and able to learn the full compliment of beginner rhythms in a relaxed yet very fun environment. You will be happy to have Lillian as your teacher! Contact Lillian >
Audrey Gaffron Diallo
Audrey has been teaching with DrumConnection since 2000 and remains one of the top teachers for all levels of players. Whether you experience her teaching beginners or advanced drummers, you will learn a lot and have a great time in the process.
Audrey has been actively engaged in creating and teaching kids drumming classes at many of the local public and private schools in the area,
Her technique is exemplarily, her infectious humor and ability to gently form a solid community is remarkable. I encourage you to study with Audrey. Contact Audrey >
Mark has been with DrumConnection for many years and not only teaches excellent drum classes, but is our business manager. We love Mark's drum classes as he continues to produce some of the most educated drummers. Mark is able to get through most of the beginner drum book (our reference for the course) in an 8 week session.
With Mark, you get to know the inside info on how the rhythms fit together and play them long enough to get them in your body. A great teacher. Contact Mark >
John has been with DrumConnection since the 'old days'. His dedication and passion for drumming and teaching is phenominal. If you spend a few minutes with John, you will be able to drum! His teaching style is clear and relaxed and he gets everyone to smile.
Whether he's running the Framingham Drum Circle or teaching a Hand Drumming for Beginners Class, you will be in the best hands with John.
A graduate of BU Music and Berklee College of Music, Deans sensitivity to current music trends and his connection to the ancient musics allows him to be the great teacher he is.
Dean has toured the world with the Julianna Hatfield Band and many others. Whether on Bass or Drums, Dean has made his way to The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien (2x) and European TV as well.
When you study with Dean, he will find a way to give you the knowledge you need in the way you can best use it. He treats everyone with kindness and respect and knows when to push or pull. An excellent instructor. Contact Dean >
Laura Smith is an artist, expressive arts therapist and educator deeply commited to nurturing individual and collective growth through creativity. She has been designing and facilitating creative processes with schools, communities, and individuals for over a decade thoughout the US, Central America and China.
Her work uses a myriad of expressive resources, including community murals and therapeutic drumming, to promote healing, dialogue, healthy development and transformation.
Current murals and intermodal arts initiatives exist in China, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington and Chelsea.
Adjunct Professor: Lesley University - Current
Moussa Bolokada Conde is a master drummer from Kissidougou, Guinea, expert of Malinke rhythms, and one of the world's foremost djembefolas. 'Bolo' joined the Les Percussions de Guinée to replace the legendary Noumoudy Keïta as their lead drummer. He has traveled and performed in major venues all over the world since 1996 and was featured in the IMAX movie PULSE: a Stomp Odyssey. Since 2004, he has been performing and teaching in the United States. He has conducted percussion workshops in many cities throughout Europe and the US.
He has released two musical CD's, Morowaya and Sankaran. He stars in the DVD M'bemba Fakoli: A Musical Journey Through Guinea and has released the djembe instructional DVD M'bara. He is the subject of an upcoming documentary, Bolokada Conde—Malinke Village Djembefola. He was awarded immigrant status as an alien with extraordinary ability in the arts in 2007.
He is an Artist Associate at the Robert E. Brown Center For World Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, having previously been a visiting lecturer from 2008 to 2011. He is also the musical director and lead soloist of Ballet Waraba in North Carolina, Ballet Wassa-Wassa in Santa Cruz, California, and Les Percussion Malinke in the San Francisco Bay area.
Abdoulaye Sylla, master dancer and drummer from Guinea, West Africa, has been delighting students and audiences alike for more than 30 years with his energetic style and infectious smile. He grew up winning numerous regional and national dance competitions in and on behalf of his country.
Abdoulaye was a principal dancer and percussionist with Les Ballets Africains, award-winning national dance troupe of the Republic of Guinea in the '80s and '90s and a principal dancer, percussionist, and the director of technique for Les Merveilles D’Afrique through 1994.
He has performed on many of the great world stages and has toured throughout Africa, Europe, and North America. He was named an “Ambassador of Culture” by the University of California at San Francisco. He was a visiting professor at Trinity College from 1995-2009, when he left to relocate to Seattle.
He is presently Artistic Director of One World Arts Exchange, an organization whose mission is to foster intercultural appreciation through the arts.
Monette Marino, a dynamic performer and teacher, has been drumming since the age of 8 with the blessings of her father. Her traditional West African drumming sparked by Malian drummer Yaya Diallo and his “African Troubadours” eventually took her to Africa. She has also studied traditional Korean style with Mr. Kim Duk Soo of “Samul Nori”, when she traveled an won competitions in Seoul, S. Korea!
She continues to study traditional drumming from Africa, Cuba, Brazil and Korea with Master Drummers from these respective countries and traveled around the world to deepen her knowledge of all musical forms.
Monette had a 13 year apprenticeship with Grandmaster Mamady Keita of Guinea. She is a certified instructor of Tam Tam Mandingue in recognition of her knowledge and skill in traditional Manding percussion. Tam Tam Mandingue - San Diego was started in 1998.
She won the National Hand Drum-Off competition at Drum Day LA! About ten years ago Monette began touring with Tam Tam Mandingue teaching classes, playing with lightening speed, precision, feeling and style and performing with the famous Sewa Kan Troupe around the world. Together they have visited over 20 countries on 6 continents.
Monette has a deep respect for the cultural heritage preserved and passed on, hand to hand, mouth by mouth, through the language of the drum. Her first solo album “Coup d’Eclat” debued last year to critical acclaim! With Monette, it truly IS World Music all the way.
Mamady WADABA Kourouma
Mamady Kourouma’s nickname, “Wadaba”, means Great Panther, and comes from the people of his motherland, who say his sound on the djembe drum has the power of a wild cat’s scream. He grins at his audience and, with a thunderous slap on the drumhead from his rawhide hands, has them jumping out of their seats.
Born in 1963 of the ancient Malinke blacksmith/drummer family lineage in the Sankaran region of northern Guinea, he learned all of the traditional rhythms and had achieved the status as one of the lead soloists of his village.
Accepted as apprentice by one of the all-time greatest master drummers in Africa, Famoudou Konate, the 26-year veteran of Les Ballets Africains de Guinee, Kourouma gained experience teaching drumming to the Europeasn and Americans attending Guinean workshops. He also learned Konate’s techniques for drum building.
Soon he had gained international acclaim touring with Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konaté, and Mogobalu. He appears on numerous recordings and has his own CDs as well.
He knows that as villagers embrace modern life, their traditional rituals and the drum rhythms that accompany them will disappear, and that teaching those rhythms will help them live on. His elders, Konate and Keita, have for many years worked to preserve Malinke musical traditions.
Ibrahima Camara's roots originate with the Serere and Malinke ethnic groups and he was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal. Mr. Camara entered into a traditional apprenticeship study at a very early age and, after completing his apprenticeship he began his career as a performer with the National Ballet of Senegal and Les Ballets Africain de Djabel Gueye.
In 1968 he achieved the position of Lead Drummer and Musical Director for Senegal's foremost performance company, The National Ballet. By this time he had attained distinction of Master Drummer. Since 1974, Mr. Camara has resided in the United States where he continues his work as performer, choreographer, artistic director, bandleader and teacher.
Master Djembe Drummer Issa Coulibaly, began studying the djembe and djun djun when he was 11 in his home city of Bamako, Mali.
As his skill and reputation as a multi-instrumental player, vocalist and arranger grew, Issa toured Africa and Europe extensively before emigrating to America. He continues to travel from Maine to Puerto Rico facilitating retreats and performing as the lead drummer and Musical Director for a variety of African dance troupes.
His CD debut 'Foliba' (May 2009) highlights his flamboyant playing style, original arrangements of traditional songs, and demonstrates his solid vocal skill. Buy it at our shop!
Whether performing for the traditional dance, headlining a major African showcase performance or leading drumming or dance workshops, Issa shines his light all night long.
A true professional performer steeped in the Malian traditions of the djembe.
John Marshall performs on concert stages, radio, television, and film both nationally and internationally. He includes the drumming traditions of the Middle East, North and South India, Egypt, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Central Asia in his repertoire. Performing on frame drums, tabla, doumbek, tombak, djembe, congas, riq, pandiero, mbira, conventional Western percussion, and all manner of hand-held percussion, John Marshall's music has been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Echoes, Hearts Of Space, PBS Television and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).
He has performed and recorded with such artists as The Paul Winter Consort, Michael Brecker, Glen Velez, Rhonda Larson, Danny Gottlieb, Harvie Swartz, Robert Gass, Steve Gorn, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Snatam Kaur, Paco Pena, Krishna Das, David Darling, Eugene Freison, Benjamin Verdery, Coleman Barks, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, George Benson and Marc Anthony.
Namory was born in Sangbarala, Guinea, and has been the lead djembefola for the village since 2006. He grew up drumming with his family and friends, including two greats: Nansady Keita and Solo Keita! He has studied and worked with his uncle, djembe and dunun-Grandmaster Famoudou Konate as well. Namory has recorded CDs with Billy Konate and Diarra Konate, and has helped documentary film-makers to understand the life and music of Sangbarala and the Hamana region of Guinea. Kolafölö is Namory's first lead-artist CD.
Namory has taught workshops in Sangbarala and Conakry, Guinea as well as in Germany, Poland, France, Portugal, and the US. People from Europe, Japan, Canada, the US, and Australia have traveled to Guinea specifically to study with Namory.
Namory is known for his love of his village, his respect for traditional music, and his infectious joy of life. The fact that he's a fabulous djembefola, generous teacher, and gracious host only adds to his charms!
DrumConnection 177 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02474 ph: (001) 781-316-8068
5.0 star rating Yelp!
This place should be called, "percussion heaven". You can find every sort of percussion instrument and accessory here, all in one place. The staff is very friendly, knowledgable and helpful. They have professional djembes and dunun . They also sponsor local drum circles and have drum classes with the very talented owner as well as master drummers from around the globe. They also offer a wide variety of CD's. One of the best shops ever!
San Rafael, CA
5.0 star rating
5.0 star rating 2/9/2017
I was thrilled to find that this store doesn't just have hand drums, but is also well-stocked with hardware and parts for rock drum kits. And if they don't stock something you need, they'll order it for you or point you in the right direction.
Alan, the owner, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful if I have questions or need advice. When I came in last year wanting to restore my vintage kit, I had no idea where to start, and Alan helped me through the entire process, from cleaning, de-rusting, to finding missing parts. Whenever I have a problem with my kit or something breaks, I always go to Alan first (it's a good idea to call the store to see when he's working!) Often he'll find a way to fix it without having to purchase new parts.
Definitely recommend this gem over bigger places like Guitar Center.
5.0 star rating
Jan 22, 2017
"Hi Alan, Eddie & I LOVED Nancy's classes. We stopped going because it was dark & cold & late & it was the only time we could both make it ( I work nites ) but we plan to resume classes probably in the spring. I miss it. Rochelle"
5.0 star rating
Purchased beautiful instruments...
I recommend the workshops to all my college student studying world music in the classroom. We've also purchased beautiful instruments I use in my teaching. People marvel at their sound and touch.
5.0 star rating
So much fun...
Participating in a beginners drumming series was so much fun, and I was surprised at what they were able to teach us! We plan to go back as soon as our schedule allow a steady attendance.
5.0 star rating
Just bought my 3rd instrument from this store. Always a pleasure to do business with DrumConnection, and home to a great community of drummers.
5.0 star rating
Honest, original voice...
Way back in 2011, I wrote and published a feature story about Alan Tauber and DrumConnection. Read it at YourArlington
Nothing that has occurred since would cause me to change my mind about Alan and his business: He's an honest, original voice in a fast-changing town, offering a rhythm that is hard to beat.
5.0 star rating
Always a great experience...
Alan is always a pleasure to do business with. He is knowledgeable and very kind. The classes they have are fun and very informative. Always a great experience.
Redington Beach, FL
Alan's knowledge is vast...
I needed to replace the head on a djembe. I live on the south shore of MA, and was having a hard time finding a place to do the job. I discovered the DrumConnection through a list serve and found the best resource I could hope for. Alan's knowledge is vast, and the service was done professionally, on time, and at a reasonable price. I do not need to look any further for my hand drumming needs.
It is a privilege to know you...
You play such an important part in drumming education in this country. It is a privilege to know you...
Name withheld upon request.
(but a famous dude in percussion).
Great Local Place, Great Stuff, Nice People
Bought a present for a friend and they had just what I wanted. They helped me pick the right one. Weren't pushy. Really nice vibe. Will definitely go back when I need a drum or a present for someone.
5/16/2016 5.0 stars! Yelp!
DrumConnection is great! Excellent teachers, extremely high quality guest drummers from Africa, and female teachers and leaders.
5/15/2016 5.0 stars!
Thank you Alan, Thierno, Audrey, Issa and Moussa!
At DrumConnection, I began my beginners' class feeling lost and insecure. However, while the drum is quite challenging, I have felt more and more connected to the group thanks to the wonderful teachers, and the kindness and acceptance of other drummers.
In other words I am deeply indebted and grateful for the opportunity to expand my skills, horizons, and sense of belonging thanks to the drum. The ongoing learning experience is challenging, exhilarating and humbling. Thank you Alan, Thierno, Audrey, Issa and Moussa, and thank you to all my fellow students!
5/13/2016 5.0 stars!
Thanks so much. Tuned up my kids drum, very knowledgeable and friendly!
4/28/2016 5.0 stars!
Love DrumConnection in Arlington!
Great teachers including the Masters from West Africa; great drums (all kinds) and accessories. Director and owner, Alan, is an excellent drummer himself, friends to all and always willing to share his knowledge. Classes & Workshops at all levels challenging and tons of fun. Serious drumming going on here!
4/27/2016 5.0 stars!
Knowledgeable, and very helpful.
I watched Alan help a gentleman trying to rent an accordion. Yes, this sounds like a Seinfeld script, but it was touching seeing Alan help someone out. Additionally, the store is well supplied, and the prices are quote reasonable for being able to get your hands on what you need right now. Truly, an asset to the community!
Brian C. J.
April 9, 2016, 1:47 p.m.
Friends cannot believe how light it is and how good it sounds. Easy for me to carry. It is also very nice looking, not ornate, just beautiful wooden swirls. Thanks for all your help on this..... kdl
4/10/16 ; 5 Stars
I have spent several wonderful weekends at DrumConnection studying drumming rhythms with various master drummers (djembefolas) and I just want to thank Alan and the wonderful community of people I met at there for a wonderful, fun, inspiring and informative time. If I didn't live on Long Island, NY I would be there every week. 5 star rating from me!
Long Island, NY
2/24/2016 : 5 Stars!
DrumConnection is a wonderful place. Alan is so helpful, thoughtful and kind. The store has a great selection of drums that will help you connect to music from all over the world. Highly recommended!
Jan. 16, 2016 : 5 Stars!
Great experience, no pressure to buy or spend more than I wanted to, just the perfect assistance to help me find the right drum for me - a clear joy for drumming and very welcoming - made me feel right at home.
12/22/2015 : 5 Stars!
A great little store
I was looking for some nifty percussion accessories for my son-in-law and I really didn't want to go the the Guitar Center. What a great place! I got great advice & was able to find exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for! A perfect shopping trip & well worth the weekly trip down from Cape Ann!
Cape Ann, MA
5.0 star rating 12/6/2015 Yelp!
I took a beginner drum class here this fall. I was impressed by the business's connection to West African drumming. Thierno, a drummer from Guinea, was our teacher. If you want to learn drumming, have a weekly class with lots of laughing and meet people from around the world this place is for you.
5.0 Star Rating 12/4/15 Google+
Alan the owner is always friendly and helpful. When I was looking for a drum, he chose 4 drums he thought I might like, each unique. He helped me sort out the differences to find the combination of pluses that added up to the perfect drum for me.
Alan the teacher is a non-judgmental, supportive, and clear instructor whose decades of experience and amazing skill as a drummer combine to provide a safe and inspiring learning environment. I've studied with four other DrumConnection instructors and each is excellent in his or her own ways, and all certified by examination.
A great store and a wonderful school. I recommend it without reservations.
11/15/2015 5.0 Yelp!
The beginner drum class was extra special. Taught by Thierno Keita-what a wonderful escape each week from the work-a-day world into a world of rhythm and movement. Great for the brain and the soul. Alan Tauber, who runs the Drum Connection could not be kinder or more devoted to his art. This has been a postive turn for me and I will continue on this road with pleasure.
5.0 star rating 11/11/2015
DrumConnection is an nook of musical magic on Mass Ave in Arlington. The drumming teachers are from Africa, they sponsor workshops and trips to Africa to learn drumming. Alan the owner is very flexible and understanding with scheduling lessons. The drum selection is fantastic!! I recommend it to everyone I know. What a gem!
5.0 star rating 11/9/2015 Yelp!
Broad selection of percussion instruments from all over the world. Alan, the owner, really knows a lot about the instruments and the music they make.
5.0 star rating 11/7/2015 Yelp!
We have purchased many instruments from Alan. He knows so much about percussion instruments that we trust him with ordering sight unseen and have been pleased with our purchases. Prices are very reasonable. We drive 2 hours each way to shop at the Drum Connection and it is worth it.
5.0 star rating 11/6/2015 Yelp!
You will not find a more beautiful person than Alan to assit you with your journey of learning the drums. I have traveled with Alan to Guinea, purchased various drums, and attended numerous classes. Have not been able to find the joy I felt when I was involved with the Drum Connection. Please open a southern location!
5.0 star rating 10/5/2015 Yelp!
The drum I purchased from Alan several years ago is both beautiful and is a joy to use. The classes are fantastic -- designed for all skills levels and taught by master teachers that are knowledgeable and exciting.
They are patient and know how to break rhythms down to bite size. I have enrolled my 4 year old in the children's drum class and it is dynamic -- teaching movement and African songs. She loves it and loves her teachers."
5.0 star rating 10/19/2015 Yelp!
The Best! Thanks!
Purchased my djembe here a few years ago, just bought new skin, Alan and staff always knowledgeable and helpful.
5.0 star rating 8/29/2015 Yelp!
I am new to drumming and am having a ball. I went to a Sunday night lecture and lesson on one type of drums and followed that with 2 Sunday night drumming circles with an excellent teacher-but not at the rank beginner level. Still, I loved it and just tried to follow and keep up.
Now I am in a beginner class and I am still enjoying every minute. Alan is a kind and welcoming person. He coordinates to bring in a variety of excellent teachers and classes take place most every day of the week. He gives great advice about what to purchase and has rentals available. Come join the fun!
5.0 star rating 8/24/2015 Yelp!
This is a great little shop. Alan was able to rent me some drums for my autism caregivers retreat and was very accommodating. The drums were gorgeous, beautiful sound. Our group had a great time thanks to Drum Connection coming through at the last minute for me. Thank you!
June 25, 2015
5.0 star rating Excellent Teaching!
This is the first time I took drum lessons. I have taken piano lessons off and on for years. I really enjoy playing the drums. I had two teachers. They both had their individual style of teaching. I found that Alan is an excellent teacher. I would recommend anyone with a desire to learn drumming to check out DrumConnection. I haven't gone to their drum circle yet, but that's the next step for me. I am finishing up my first six weeks of classes, two more classes to go.
August 4, 2015
5.0 star rating 8/4/2015 Yelp!
I'm new to the djembe and drum circles in general. The drum circle I attended last week was a blast. Very relaxed and friendly, the drumming was amazing. Alan and Fanta were both very warm and welcoming. As others have noted, great energy. I'm definitely going back.
July 6, 2015
5.0 star rating Incredible Drums!
I returned to the store today to purchase my first djembe. Alan was more than helpful. He gave a mini-lesson on the spot so I would know how to evaluate the variety of drums, their tonal differences, etc. He also played several of them for me to have a better impression of what it sounds like once technique is mastered. The drum I finally settled on is incredible, love it. My wife was looking for a bodhran, and he gave demonstrations of those as well!
July 8, 2015
Way better than 5 stars!
Alan clearly loves what he is doing and it shows in the friendly, professional and deeply knowledgeable service. Way better than 5 stars.
June 10, 2015
Alan was so helpful. He came highly recommended, and lived up to it. I got a wonderful drum for my nephew - have not yet given it to him, but he is going to love it.
April 8, 2015
Five stars all the way!
Honestly, I can't say enough good things about DrumConnection. Alan and John helped me pick out the perfect drum, and when I came in tonight, Alan talked with me for at least an hour about technique, the history of the djembe coming to America, and more. The place is warm and inviting, and the people who work there are the same. I am confident I chose the best place to start my drumming journey, and I will be back for their classes! Five stars all the way!
March 7, 2015
My son is now starting drum lessons. We stopped in to purchase a drum pad and drum sticks. This is an amazing store. There is much to learn about choosing an instrument that suits you...and we were encouraged not to rush in and spend a lot of money at this stage. The store is packed with drums (mostly hand drums) and each visitor is encouraged to try out items that spark their interest. While visiting, my son tried several thumb pianos as well.
March 6, 2015
Fanta lead our group of 21 drummers thru two hours of song, dance, and drumming. Everybody was smiling at the end of the evening. What a deal for 10 bucks!
February 24, 2015
Drum Connection is a fantastic place to take African drumming lessons, meet some wonderful people and really expand your horizons by attending workshops with master drummers from West Africa. It's been a life changing experience for me. I am so blessed to part of Alan and Fanta's community.
February 13, 20115
As always Alan was right there to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for. He even sent me a photo/text to confirm that he had the correct size, shape and sound of rattle I needed. This was that perfect combination of personal service and immediate results.
February 5, 2015
Hey just wanted to write you a note to tell you how much I absolutely love the drum! It was the perfect choice for me. The slaps are just incredible and yet it gives good bass response. I brought it to work to play with the children and it was just such the perfect instrument. It’s just the right one for me and I'm really thrilled with it. Thanks so much.
January 24, 2015
Thanks Alan for your undivided attention today as I purchased the replacement head for the djembe I had previously bought at DrumConnection. Could not be more satisfied!