Noller/Sylla – West African/jazz
My current project as a leader is a collaboration with my friend and teacher, Guinean percussionist Mangue Sylla. I perform with Mangue in Drum Cafe NY, and have been studying traditional drumming from Guinea with him for nearly 10 years. For this project I have taken Mangue’s arrangements of traditional Guinean music, and adapted them for a high energy electric jazz group. Check the calendar for upcoming performances, and visit the group’s website for more info.
Aubrey Johnson Sextet – jazz/brazillian
Aubrey is a jazz singer and songwriter whose original compositions draw upon contemporary jazz and Brazilian influences. Her band features some of my favorite musicians, and her music is a joy to perform. The group has performed in top jazz clubs such as the Kitano in NYC and the Regattabar in Boston, and is working towards releasing an album on Gerg Osby’s Inner Circle Music.
Robert Sabin Dectet – jazz
A unique ensemble led by an equally unique musician and composer – bassist Robert Sabin. I had the privilege of recording with this group last year, and the album Humanity Part II has just been released. Bob’s compositions are cinematic in scope and intensely dark. Check the calendar for upcoming performances in NYC.
Naomi & Her Handsome Devils – swing
Led by the incomparable Naomi Uyama, Naomi & Her Handsome Devils perform around the world at lindy hop swing dance festivals. Aside from being an incredible singer and bandleader, Noami is one of the world’s top lindy hop dancers and dance instructors (with whom I’ve had the unworthy pleasure of studying with). Her group performs an extensive repertoire of classic swing (checkout the album!), and we have appeared throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia at renowned swing dance events including: Herräng Dance Camp (Sweden), the London Swing Festival (U.K.), and the International Lindy Hop Championships (Washington, D.C.).
Atarah Valentine – pop/rock
This project has brought me back to my roots (way back) as rock drummer influenced by the alternative-rock bands of the 90s. Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Atarah Valentine has been a friend for many years, though we’ve only begun recently to make music together. His band is a blast to play with and I expect you’ll be hearing more about him soon. The band’s 2015 performances included a residency at Piano’s in NYC, a CMJ showcase at Webster Hall, and a performance at the massive Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.
Tacuma Bradley’s Unity Band – hip-hop/funk/jazz
I met Tacuma as a member of the Afro-Funk/Highlife band, mamarazzi. His current group features MC Tavi Fields (also of mamarazzi), alongside a jazz quintet, performing Tacuma’s original compositions that mix jazz, funk, and hip-hop. With an uncanny ability to get a crowd moving, Tacuma performs at clubs and bars around NYC. The group’s debut album Joint Effort was released in April 2016 on the Ropeadope label.
Drum Cafe NY – West African
My longest-standing NYC gig, and my introduction to the drumming of West Africa, Drum Cafe has been a huge part of my musical career. The company performs interactive drumming shows, wherein each member of the audience (anywhere from 10-1,000+ people) gets a djembe to play along (yes… 1,000 djembes). The show is a great experience for the audience, and the musicians I share the stage with are incredible. We perform for mostly private events, but look out for the occasional public performance in NYC.
Also… check out my teaching page for current educational projects.