Ekendra Das
* September 16, 1954
United States
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biography Ekendra Das Bio

Ekendra Das is a multi-percussionist and drummer whose relationship with the drum goes back to his childhood. He often jammed with the musicians that

played at the Blue Cornet night club managed by his father in New York. Musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespe and others.

Ekendra’s uncle, a famous Katherine Dunham dancer, arranged for Ekendra’s first recording, singing and playing percussion on a Harry Belefonte recording. The spark was lit; music and the drum became a huge part of Ekendra’s life.

Ekendra went on to study drumming and music under various teachers from all styles. Ekendra worked the New York music scene after college, working with artists like Kashif, Living Color’s Vernon Reid, JazzMobile all stars, sax man Carlos Garnett, Pharaoh Saunders, Nat Aderly Jr., and a special performance with Dizzy Gillespe. Broadway shows and major dance companies also used his percussive skills. When Ekendra was offered a job working in Africa he took it as an opportunity for first hand drum and percussion study of Africa percussion. This also found him playing with African artists like Sonny Okoso, Kofi Ghanaba, Banda and Congolese artist Africa One. Ekendra decided to visit India on a vacation and fell in love with the music and returned several times to study both music and philosophy. Ekendra has played Indian percussion for artists both recording and live performances.

Ekendra began a refreshed music career after returning to the States, playing and recording with Fertile Ground, David Bach, Raheem Davaughn, Mary Ann Redmond, Imani, Tim Eyerman, Caje, Mosaic, Bottomland, Amikaelya, Anthony David, The D.C. Mass Choir, Havana Select, Frank Macomb, Brian Culbertson,

Marcus Johnson Project, Al Williams, Scott Ambush, Julie Dexter and others; including international artists Chucho Valdes, Susana Baca, Marixtrell, Armand Ntep, Rashik Priya, Los Munoquitos, Filipe Villamil and Emekeke.

One of the most inspiring moments was playing the Smithsonian Institute tribute to Celia Cruz with Havana Select. Ekendra has for the last eleven years been the percussionist for the soul/jazz and world music, group Fertile Ground, recording and touring the world and sharing stages with everyone from BB King to the Black Eyed Peas.

Ekendra Das Endorses Latin Percussion Instruments and Unigrip Drum/Timbale Sticks

Ekendra continues to teach workshops and clinics as well as private instruction. Ekendra is also a member of PASIC and the Drum circle facilitators’ guild.

CONTACT: Ekendra Das

Email: eamukendra@aol.com

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