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Handheld percussionists you get to know




1. Pete Lockett


UK based multi percussionist and composer, Locket is a master of the Indian tabla, Djembe, Darbuka, Bongos and many more. In 2005 he was voted as the best percussion player in a readers poll for Rhythm magazine. Locket started playing music at the age of 19!!

Since then, he has played and recorded for hundreds of artists such as Amy Winehouse, Jeff Beck and Peter Gabriel. Alongside his session works, Lockett is also recording his own music.





2. Mamady Keita


He is an African Djembeföla, which means a master djembe player. He is the man who has written down all the rhythms for Djembe and Dunun from the rich Mandingue culture of West Africa. He is the founder of TAM TAM Mandingue Djembe Academy which was established in 1992 and since then they have been running workshops in Mexico and Europe trying to communicate the history of African Mandingue music.






3. Rony Barrak


Lebanese Darbuka master learn to play darbuka by himself at the age of four. Barrak manages to include the oriental Darbuka into orchestral music and Jazz music as well. He has very unique playing and touch. At the age of 17 he won a gold medal at a competition in Lebanese television. In 1990 he moved to London to study orchestral percussion and Middle eastern percussion at Guildhall and Trinity College of Music. He is currently working with artists and orchestras around the world alongside his own performances.



4. Misirli Ahmet


Turkish master Darbuka player, coming from a non musical family, he started playing the Darbuka by himself at the age of 17! He has developed his own technique which is very popular for Darbuka players and it is called the Split finger technique. This technique allows you to play really fast as you are using your fingers to play. At the age of 24 he moved to Egypt to learn from the masters of Darbuka. There he worked with many artists and later on he went back to Turkey. In 1999 he returned to Egypt and began to work on the “Deholla” (the bigger tabla) in the Sinai Desert. He created a new playing technique on deholla as well. Ahmet tours and gives workshops all over the world. In 2007 he established a percussion school in Istanbul.




5.Giovanni Hidalgo


Born in a musical family, Hidalgo started playing the conga since he was eight years old.

He has worked with many artists such as Batacumbele, Changuito and Dizzy Gillespie.

He received the Grammy award twice with Mickey Hart and once with Arturo Sandoval. Also he has 2 Grammy nominations for his own albums.

In May 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music.





6.Taku Hirano


Hirano is Giovanni Hidalgo's student from Berklee College of Music. He has thirteen nominations for best percussionist of the year and he is awarded two times as percussionist of the year by DRUM! magazine.

He was also awarded with Luis Amstrong award which is the highest level award you can get in jazz music. Currently he is one of the top percussionists in the world. Some of the artists he has worked with are Aretha Franklin,Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Ziggy Marley, Nelly Furtado, Lionel Richie, Jay Z, Dr Dre and Andrea Bocelli.





Sources: Drummerworld.com, wikipedia.com

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