Sheree Seretse

Sheree Seretse, Director of the Anzanga, Shumba Youth and Zambuko Marimba Ensembles has been teaching, studying and performing for over 40 years. Affectionately known as “mama marimba”, Sheree’s passion and drive for Zimbabwean Marimba music shines through the five recordings she has produced and numerous other recordings on which she made appearances. Sheree received her[…]

Faculty List

  Afia Walking Tree Amikaeyla Avotcja Carolyn Brandy Debbie Fier Elizabeth Sayre Janet Koike Judy Graboyes Lali Mejia Larissa Montfort Luisah Teish Michaelle Goerlitz Neena McNair Nina Maza (Mami) Nydia Liberty Mata Odilia Galvan Rodriguez Ouida Lewis Regina Wells Sheree Seretse Sue Kaye (Suki) Susana Arenas Susu Pampanin

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[…]

Carolyn Brandy

Carolyn Brandy has been drumming for over 45 years. She has been instrumental in bringing women to the spirit and healing of the Drum. Carolyn is the Artistic Director of Women Drummers International and co-creator of the Born to Drum Women’s Drum Camp. She was also the founder of the Bay Area’s favorite marching band,[…]

Afia Walking Tree

Afia Walking Tree’s philosophy is that we are all on a journey to re-emerge as whole beings and be in sync with our universes. She uses African Diasporic drumming, singing, dancing, and the honoring of one’s lineages as vehicle to help her clients and participants cultivate new tools and pathways to realize their destinies. Born[…]

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[…]

Susu Pampanin

Susu Pampanin has explored and studied all types of percussion instruments and styles of music, and her incredible talent is especially evident in her work in Middle Eastern drumming. Susu is well known for her virtuosity in Arabic drumming and is one of the few female Middle Eastern. drummers highly respected by the Arabic professional[…]

Sue Kaye (Suki)

Sue Kaye (Suki) has been playing conga drums, Ngomas, and other percussion for 35 years. Originally from New York, Suki has studied with many master drummers from the Congo, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Trinidad, and more. She has played with a variety of groups including Montuno Groove, Omeyocan, Zakiya Hooker, Samba Ngo, Bole Bantu, Azucar[…]

Amikaeyla Gaston

Amikaeyla is an amazing vocalist and percussionist who comes from the Washington DC area. She has studied, recorded with, and shared the stage with many award winning artists, including Take 6, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Baba Olatunji, Mickey Hart, Gil Scott Heron, Wyclef, Ubaka Hill, Ferron, Vicki Randle, Linda Tillery, Chris Williamson, and Pete[…]

Neena McNair

I first experienced drumming when a child at local pow-wows, I wanted to drum, but was told nope, not for girls. It wasn’t even allowed to sing much with the drums then, no girls dancing like the boys, but I did hang around the fringes learning traditional women’s dance, while listening real hard. In my teens[…]

Susana Arenas Pedroso

Susana Arenas Pedroso is an internationally recognized Cuban Folkloric and popular dancer. Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Ms Pedroso began her career in dance at age twelve, studying at La Casa de Cultura de Matanzas and at Cojunto Folklorico Nacional in Havana. She danced professionally for seventeen years in Cuba with popular, folkloric and theatrical[…]

Debbie Fier

Debbie Fier has over 35 years of experience as a performing vocalist, drummer, pianist, composer, percussionist, and teacher. She has studied numerous drum styles for over 30 years, including Afro-Cuban and West African rhythms, focusing deeply on the rhythms and instruments of the Middle East and N. Africa. She drums and performs regularly with the[…]