Dr. Bob Damm (pronounced Dahm) of Mississippi State University has a passion for percussion and an avid interest in world drumming.
It started when Bob Damm was a fourth-grader, in Quincy, Ill., attending a recital by high school students with his dad. Everybody was playing a different instrument, but it was the snare drum solo that cast the spell.
His projects as a percussionist in solo and chamber settings, as well as concert programming as director of the percussion ensemble, have showcased exotic world music instruments ranging from the congas and steel drums to the less familiar amadinda, berimbau, djembe and udu.
When not in a classroom setting or drum circle, Bob Damm frequently performs with music scene mainstays Bill Cooke and Jim Beaty in the Bill Cooke Trio. Or with David Reese and Doug Thomas in the El Rio Trio, a jazz-oriented group specializing in Caribbean and Afri-Cuban music.
In his role as MSU's director of music education partnerships, Bob Damm presents hundreds of programs in Mississippi schools, inspiring children and teens with everything from Brazilian percussion and African drum sessions to Native American music or blues, with well-known blues and jazz guitarist Jesse Robinson.