Return to Registry of Artists

Neil Clarke

Log-in to Favorite

I have been a student of percussion for more than fifty years. I learned through apprenticeships and a spiritual relationship to my culture. It is an ongoing personal pursuit and in that time I have had many great opportunities to study, perform and collaborate with percussion masters worldwide. As a direct result of my extended apprenticeship with Chief James Hawthorne Bey, I went on to work with Mr. Harry Belafonte, Alvin Ailey and most recently Mr. Randy Weston.

I continue the work of my mentors who were instrumental in the emergence of authentic African drumming traditions in the Americas by exploring the source, structure and foundations of the rhythmic dimensions of African culture throughout the Diaspora and maintaining their presence in contemporary music contexts through my creative expressions.

The practice of my craft has taken me on numerous occasions to North, West, Central and South Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and a majority of the United States. Living in New York City has afforded me many ongoing opportunities to engage in examining and documenting expressions where they are in evidence. This has allowed me to affirm their existence through artistic practice and to identify customs, practices and aesthetics that have been overlooked, dismissed or are in danger of extinction.

Forum Posts