Alan Tauber is a gifted percussionist, musician, facilitator and educator who has spent over 45 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 >
Fanta Keita Tauber
Fanta is a joyous spirit filled with the energies of Guinea, Africa. Mixing stories of Guinea in with her classes, the culture of the djembe and dunun comes alive! She believes that a drum class must contain the essence of each rhythm and be a LOT of FUN!
The sounds she can play on the djembe come from her native African languages born on the drum. It is rare to have that experience with a teacher and we are lucky to have her on the team!
Sometimes she will speak in many languages and show some dance moves as part of her classes. She teaches beginners, beyond beginner drummers, kids drumming.
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 >
NEC Instructor, Community Outreach Dept Head, Specialist in Childrens Development.
Lau is a really personable young man who loves working with kids of all ages. From body percussion to movement, he will help your child's development while having lots of fun and big smiles.
Lautaro Mantilla is a guitarist, composer, and improviser on drums and percussion from Bogota, Colombia. He has a B.A. in classical guitar from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia.) an M.M. with Honors in Contemporary Improvisation, and a G.D. in CI Composition.
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.
Aboulaye Sylla (passed on 2015 after 35 years of service)
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 was 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 (passed on 2015 with 36 years of service)
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 continued his work as performer, choreographer, artistic director, bandleader, teacher and a great friend.
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!