Biographies

Steven Leicach
Steven Leicach, master drummer, composer, educator, has been drumming for over twenty-five years. He has studied and performed in Africa and the United States. Steve is an expert in Ghanaian drumming, African and Caribbean hand drumming technique, drum improvisation, percussion theory and traditional instrument making. He’s highly accomplished on a wide range of many ethnic instruments including congas, djembe, balafon, shekere, and talking drums. When Steve plays the drum speaks, either literally through a proverb played in drum language, or metaphorically through improvised phrases from the heart.

Steven Leicach’s performances are a pleasure to watch. His movements flow with effortless ease and mastery. Whether demonstrating or teaching, Steve is calm, warm, friendly and accessible. Steve puts students at ease by creating a relaxed and supportive environment that is conducive to learning.

Jay Cook cook-leicach1
Jay Cook has spent much of his life creating, improvising and performing with a variety of instruments, including percussion, bass, guitar and voice. His studies have brought him deep into a variety of musical styles, as he has learned from jazz experts at the Vermont Jazz Center, talking drum masters in Nigeria, and classical music professors at Middlebury College. Whether walking a bass line, responding in rhythm to a master drum call, or writing music for the balafon (African xylophone), Jay’s musical presence is dynamic, playful, engaging and thoughtful.

A certified music teacher with a B.A. in music, Jay has brought his knowledge of rhythm and musical creativity to libraries, festivals and schools in and around New England. He is also certified with the organization Music for People, a group dedicated to teaching improvised self-expression through music.