|The History Page
|Jeff Mann Drums
PO Box 634
Brockport, NY 14420 USA
|"Follow your bliss . . . and doors will open where
there were no doors before." ~ Joseph Campbell
|Laura and Jeff both come from families in the teaching profession.
As we've looked back at our separate lives growing up, we seem
to have traveled similar paths that eventually led us to each other.
It was a lovely winter's day, the 21st of July 1990, when we were
married at Laura's hometown church in Lambayeque, Peru. This
has been a wonderful start for us and our dreams coming true.
We have been faithfully pursuing many paths that include: a
Dream for an International School Children's Travel Program.
Our partnership can't be measured by material gains.
|~ In August 2005, Jackie and I were asked to perform with 'Sankofa' at the SUNY Brockport
Convocation. Since that day it was six days a week drumming with Khalid for three semesters.
NY State granted me a Volunteer Position to the Department of Dance at SUNY Brockport.
~ April 27-30 of 2006, Sankofa performed 4 Amazing Shows to sold-out audiences. It has been
an extremely gratifying experience, with many thanks going to Clyde Morgan and Khalid Saleem
- - - - - - - - -
~ I've recently done Drumming Workshops / Sessions for groups that include:
Rochester AmeriCorps Trainees, Pralid Center for Disabled Adults, Monroe and Wayne County
After School Programs, Generation Cool Kids' Fundraisers, Brockport's Arts Fest & Sidewalk Sale,
Springwater's 2nd Fiddler's Fair, Gates Middle School, Batavia's GCASA, Harmony in the Hills 1 & 2,
Albion's 24th Strawberry Festival, Brockport's September Fests, and at Albion's YES Program
* June 2006, a Week-Residency (400+ students) at Clyde Elementary School's Music Department.
* October 2006, a Week-Residency (500+ students) at Brockport Barclay School's Music Department.
* February 2007, an Interactive Performance at Brockport's Hill Elementary School.
* April 2011, Two Interactive Performances at Wilson Foundation Academy.
~ March 2011, I Became a Student of Jim Donovan & His Rhythm Revival !!
* A List of Recent Activities is Posted on the Photo Album Page *
African Dance Class - Fall 2005
African Dance Class - Spring 2006
|Jeff, Jackie Lane & 'Maestro' Khalid Saleem
Mendon Ponds Park, New York - Summer 2005
|When I look back at life and living, I consider most of it to be training for Jeff Mann Drums.
The following are some of the highlights worth mentioning. My first real experience with the
power of Drums was at age four. My parents took me to see their dear friend directing the
Bishop Kearney Kings High Marching Band in Rochester, New York. This outdoor show
was spectacular in every way possible ... but it was the Drum Section that moved me.
In my early years, I dabbled in drumming with the help of Mike, my Grandmother Ada's husband.
He was a Drummer in a local swing band during the 40's and 50's. I was grateful when he gave
me a new set of drumsticks, a practice pad, and an instruction book containing the paradiddles.
In the 1980's Mike Petroline passed-on (within a year of Ada Mann's passing) and I was given
Mike's precious 1939 Gretch Drum Set. I still cherish that old instruction book, and have let
'hundreds' of kids bang away on that drum set during the workshops I did at local festivals.
|One day in early spring of 1988, while strolling through the Campus at SUNY Brockport, I heard
a beautiful style of drumming flowing from the windows of Hartwell Hall. I followed my ears to
the south end of the building and arrived at the gymnasium just in time to meet students leaving
a just-finished class. I found out that another African Drumming class was beginning in fifteen
minutes. As a graduate from SUNY Alfred, I knew that classes were always a little hectic in
the beginning of each semester, so I confidently strolled right in and sat down for the class.
What I encountered that day is beyond description. As the teacher entered the room all idle chatter
stopped and the silent energy in the room became focused on him. This tall man, dressed in colorful
Afro-Brazilian attire, radiated a powerful light-force that I have witnessed in very few people.
His eye shown with kindness and compassion, but it was his 'voice' that struck a lost-chord in
the hearts of those who listened to him. After that class I was honored to introduced myself,
and he smiled saying, "Greetings, I am Clyde Morgan". I continued taking this class, and I
also joined the African Dance & Drum Ensemble called Sankofa. This opened up a whole
new world of creative expression for me, and is the beginning of Jeff Mann Drums.
|After marrying Laura Zapata in 1990 my musical tastes began to lean toward Latin Rhythms.
year-ending Sankofa Concert we saw how this great new drummer was influencing the group.
As the bright house lights went dim the cast paraded down the isles toward the stage, the
last person to enter was the new drum teacher. It was then that I met Khalid Saleem, as
he walked toward the stage and welcoming people to the show. Not only was he shaking
my hand and talking to me, but also playing drum better than anyone I had ever heard
right there in front of me !! I knew instantly that I wanted to study from this person.
Since that time I have turned a fun hobby into a discipline, and my drum collection is growing with each
passing year. At local festivals, I often shared this collection with anyone who wanted to join the fun.
It was during these years that Tribe Still Percussion was forming. But I wanted more knowledge, to
improve myskills and teaching abilities. April 2005, I visited Khalid Saleem's Community Drumming
Sessions. Khalid has a wonderful gift of confirmation that allows everyone, regardless of ability, to
feel equal at each of his classes. I studied with Khalid until he left for his annual summer residency.
The rest of that summer I practiced and performed with Karen Martino's - Afri Kuumba: at the Zoo,
the Public Market, at Jones Park, the Goddess Hour, and at the Village Gate Mall. The highlight of this
great summer was when Jackie Lane and I performed with Khalid, at one of his dear friend's wedding.
|A Video Treat from Jim Donovan . . .
Co-Founder of Rusted Root & Recently One of My Drum Teachers !!
|Check Out Jim's Web Site
|More Drumming Info at Jeff's 'Dot NET' Site: