Nydia ‘Liberty’ Mata

NYDIA ‘LIBERTY’ MATA — Rooted in the rhythms of her native Cuba. Nydia “Liberty” Mata is a dynamic percussionist and electrifying performer. Composer, arranger, and co-founder of the Latin Caribbean duo Harpbeat, Nydia is best known for her recording credits with Laura Nyro, Isis, and Latin Fever. She has performed with such legends as Dizzy[…]

Michaelle Goerlitz

Michaelle Goerlitz has been playing drums and percussion since she was eight years old. After attending college in the Midwest, she moved to San Francisco in 1980 to continue her studies, which have led to exploration of Brazilian, Afro Cuban, Venezuelan, and Middle Eastern rhythms (plus American idioms jazz, R & B & funk). She[…]

Luisah Teish

Luisah Teish is a WomanChief in the Ifa/Orisha tradition. She is a  priestess of Oshun, the Yoruba Goddess of Love, Art, and Sensuality, and  the author of  “Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals” a women’s spirituality classic. She is the Founding Mother of Ile Orunmila Oshun, the School of Ancient Mysteries/Sacred[…]

Janet Koike

Janet Koike’s passion for taiko has inspired original compositions, combining rhythm and movement into an exciting performance style. As a vital part of San Jose Taiko her work has been a highlight of the group’s national concert tours from Arsenio Hall to Carnegie Hall. Blending traditional San Francisco Taiko Dojo training with custom built techno[…]

Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Odilia Galván Rodríguez is an internationally recognized poet, writer, journalist, editor, teacher, and activist who has traveled extensively. She has three books of poetry and her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her most recent book, Migratory Birds: New and Noted Poems, is about her many journeys the physical as well[…]

Nina Maza (Mami)

Nina Maza, also known as ‘Mami,’ is a beloved member of our Born To Drum Community.  Mami is the biological mother of Nydia Liberty Mata, and embraces all of us as her children.  Born in Havana, Cuba in 1927, Mami came to the NYC in the mid 1950’s (before the Cuban revolution) with “$25 in[…]