Tom Teasley

Tom Teasley | Music

Educational Background/Training

  • BM American University
  • MM Catholic University
  • Additional studies at Peabody Conservatory
  • Jazz Drum study with Joe Morello
  • World Percussion Study with Glen Velez, Trichy Sankaron, Frank Malabe, Yucab Addy

About the Artist/Ensemble

Tom Teasley is an award-winning multidimensional sound artist specializing in ancient and futuristic percussion from around the world combined with American Jazz. He is a past Drummie Awardee for Best World Percussionist. His free-thinking approach has provided the opportunity for numerous tours abroad as a cultural envoy for the US Department of State. It is through these tours; collaborating with master indigenous musicians, as well as teaching that form the basis for his passion of sharing the universal language of music.

The basis of Tom’s work is to combine many, often ancient, disparate world cultures of music, and its functional use with American Jazz concepts. American Jazz has often been considered a therapeutic music among its practitioners and recipients. The goal is to create an offering that is at once innovative, universal, functional, and familiar. Often these ancient traditions are combined with current use of technology such as digital looping which allows Tom to create virtual ensembles in a live performance.

Educational Program Description

The Drum – Ancient Traditions Today – Assembly Program
This program is a unique journey through the history of percussion. With Tom Teasley, world /jazz percussionist, the audience will travel the Silk Road from Italy to China and the Sugar Trade Route from Africa to the Americas. Ancient instruments such as the balafon, doumbek, djembe, kilimba and frame drums are combined with the most recent advances in music technology including digital looping. This interactive program touches on subjects of geography, history and math.

Drumming Back to the Future – Assembly Program
Using drums from around the world, a single performer can create a kaleidoscope of textures and timbres of sound. With the digital looping technology available today, a single performer can become a virtual ensemble. Join Tom as he builds a layered sound composition in real time. Get a glimpse of how musicians utilize the latest technology to enhance their music and compositions and create the musical sounds of today.

The World of Rhythm – Workshop
This program explores how rhythms from around the world often have a commonality. This realization allows one to use the rhythmic traditions from one culture to gain awareness of another culture. This presentation can be a demonstration or geared to music students with very active participation. This participation includes stepping in time, reciting call and response rhythmic syllables (called solkattu in the South Indian tradition). Other activities include rhythmic coordination with egg shakers and the merging of Indian, Brazilian, and African rhythmic traditions. This is an excellent program for band and choral students to improve their rhythmic precision.

Rhythmic Happy Hour – Community Event
This is a community building drumming and rhythm event for all ages and special needs groups. An awareness of rhythm and time is established via stepping and call and response rhythms. Then basic sounds on the hand drums are taught; bass, open and slap tones. After some call and response on the drums, rhythmic traditions from the Middle East, Africa and India are combined with contemporary rhythms. The program culminates with a full percussion ensemble performance in which the participants are encouraged to solo and explore self-expression while adding to the totality of the rhythmic community.

Healing Vibrations – Community Event
This is a receptive experience for participants to experience the healing benefits of sound, rhythm and vibration. The ancient art of sound healing is presented on a variety of therapeutic vibrational instruments including hand pan, frame drums, Tibetan bowls, gongs, kalimba and more. This program has been used by psychotherapists, yoga instructors and guided meditation practitioners, and special needs groups. Let the healing vibrations wash over you like a cleansing wave of healing.

Drumming on the Edge of Magic – Residency
In this residency students receive in depth demonstrations of Tom’s eclectic music approach. They learn body kinetic skills using rhythm to develop more advanced coordination. Students learn some rhythmic patterns from Africa, the Middle East and more. They also get to experiment with some music technology. The residency culminates with a performance where all the newly developed skills come together in a performance setting. Tom frequently does some training with the music teacher so they can better assist during the session.


  • All Ages
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