John Amira

Senior Artist Teacher

Instrumental Studies

The Hartt School

John Amira is a master drummer with over 40 years experience in his specialty of Haitian and Cuban music. His fascination with African and Caribbean drumming inspired him to begin his studies in his early teens. While still in high school, he was performing with various bands, ethnic dance companies, and at Cuban and Haitian religious ceremonies. Amira's drumming has been featured in theater (A season in the Congo and Shango De Im); film (Putney Swope and Fighting Back); T.V., radio, and recordings with Latin, jazz, and other groups. He teaches, performs and lectures at universities and institutes including Yale, New England Conservatory, Bates, Mannes, New School, Duke, Occidental, Middlebury, Kentucky State, Naropa, Drummer's Collective, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Music of Santeria. Between his travels teaching and performing, Amira accompanies dance groups and classes, as well as teaching privately.