World Music Percussion Ensemble


The World Music Percussion Ensemble enjoys a devoted audience, including World Music scholars who recognize the diversity of traditions behind the power-packed playing. In addition to non-western drumming styles and techniques, this innovative group explores and performs a wide-ranging repertoire, from ancient African rhythms to rock, rap, hip-hop, Afro-pop, Salsa, Brazilian Sambas and world jazz. Occasionally collaborating with other Hop ensembles such as the Wind Symphony and Chamber Singers, students have opportunities to perform vocals, bass, guitar, horns, piano, drums and other percussion instruments—and to take on leadership roles by directing the group in special types of music.


Concerts often feature professional guest musicians and dancers, such as Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, saxophonist Odean Pope, master drummer Abdoul Doumbia and flutist Ko Umezaki.
Hafiz Shabazz, director of the World Music Percussion Ensemble since 1984, is an ethnomusicologist, master drummer and adjunct associate professor of Music at Dartmouth. He has also taught at University of California at Berkeley and Duke University. He has studied in Cuba, at University of Ghana and Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, and received an M.Ed. Degree from Cambridge College. He has performed with Max Roach, Lionel Hampton and Julius Hemphill, and with musician/griots from Africa. For many years he performed with Wind and Thunder, touring to France, the Caribbean, Canada and the U.S. From 1991 to 2005, he led the world-jazz band Bala Bala. An initiated member of the Ancestral Shrine of the Ashanti Nation in Ghana, he has authored articles and created an educator’s guide in conjunction with the 2004 Oscar-winning movie RAY. He also teaches percussion to gifted and autistic children.


Auditions required. Please contact the Ensembles Office (603.646.2530) or

Last updated on Apr 19 by Diana M. Pechter