My Ewe drumming teachers in Ghana in 1998: Nani, Emmanuel and Reuben Agbeli: sons of my first teacher, the late/great Godwin Agbeli. My Agbeli teachers and Odonte drumming slow and fast Atsiagbekor (Agbekor) for an outdoor video session to accompany the book "Master Drummers of West Africa."
My teachers dancing slow and fast Agbekor while the younger drummers provide accompaniment. Notice the large Horse's tail that is swayed back and forth during the drama. Nani Agbeli (my primary dance instructor) hanging out at his school in Ghana.
Odonte, an amazing drummer, hanging out and looking cool. Two adolescent dogs the morning after a big feline party (notice the bottle of gin between them).
A festival of Dagomba drummers playing the gung-gong bass drum and the lunga talking drum, accompanying free-style dancers. More Dagomba dancers, enjoying the lively and intricate music.
Practicing kidi open and pressed tones, enjoying the tropical weather. My Dagomba drumming teacher, the great chief Alaji Dolsi-naa Abubakari Lunna, and his son Zona in northern Ghana at his house complex. Solo Coulibaly playing his balafon while barely looking at the instrument. He has a wonderful sense of melody and style that I could only dream about.
Dolsi-naa and Zona making my gong-gong drum. Dolsi-naa is a gifted drum maker who has made all the drums played by his many students. Me dancing Ewe style for some Dagomba drummers. Did I know what I was doing?
A double bell player in Dagbon, using a cow's horn to quickly glide from one bell to the other. Amazing! My teachers in Burkina Faso, Souleman Coulibaly and his brothers, drumming djembe, dun-dun, balafon, and singing for a promotional video I made for them.
Helping to make my dun-don drum, with the large Coulibaly family all around. Hanging with Abu (the only man who spoke English during my month of studies in Burkina), and a young friend who loved to follow me about.


Peforming Slow Agbekor drumming and dance at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. Lisa Leake dancing, and my senior student, Jeremy Cohen, playing bell, totoji and foot shaker for the packed house. Another action shot of Lisa dancing Agbekor at NEC.
Lisa teaching African dance in Marquette, MI for a public performance and workshop. Lisa demonstrating the Ewe movement for Agbekor.
Lisa demonstrating the Serious Movement for the Ewe party dance, Gahu. Showing the curious how to play the gung-gong drum from the Dagomba people of Ghana.


With my guru-ji, the late/great Shreeram Devasthali in Pune, India. Mr. Devasthali would teach me bols (tabla compoisitions) using only his voice. His son, Rajeev, taught me lessons on the tabla. Rajeev preparing to teach me a lesson with his young son Ishan there for the fun.
Accompanying the great Ali Akbar Khan in Boston for two lecture demonstration/concerts held at MIT and NEC. Khansahib did more playing then talking. I was there to assist Swapan Chaudhuri, who had to fly to another event. At my drum maker's shop in Pune, Nittin Suretwalla, hanging out with the locals, jamming for the gathering crowd.
Nittin playing the pakhawaj for a photo to be used in my tabla book. Performing at Jazz Yatra in Bombay (1996) with my band, Natraj: Phil Scarff on saxophone, Bertram Lehmann on drums, Mike Rivard on bass, and guest Rohan Gregory on violin.
Tons of bayans hanging from the ceiling like nocturnal bats, waiting to be adopted by any loving tabla player. After the show with Phil and Micro, who provided me with an unexpected head ornament.
Accompanying the great young sitarist, Atul Keskar, in Pune. He was very humble and generous, given my lack of experience. Back in Boston, accompanying Peter Row on sitar during an outdoor Arts Festival in 2007.
Accompanying Steve Gorn on bansuri during a Natraj concert. Steve has been a guest of the band on many occasions and appears on our 4th album, Song of the Swan.


Playing a 4-mallet balafon solo at NEC's Jordan Hall as part of a jazz faculty showcase event. Playing the cajon like an Indian gatham clay drum in Barcelona, Spain. The flamenco locals enjoyed my different style of playing, which took place long before my studies in flamenco became more serious and correct.
Playing with the Boston-based dub/trance/groove band, Club d'Elf at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA. More Club d'Elf and more percussion on hand to cover the range of sounds the band creates.