I was raised in Springfield, IL, where I grew up playing piano and participating in various music activities. I was in an ambitious church bell choir for many years, which developed my rhythmic abilities that I used later to transcribe drum rhythms.
In college at Princeton, I learned to play conga drums from John Arrucci; then in California, I learned bongos from Luis Conte, and basic samba patterns from Chalo Eduardo of Remo. When Youtube took off in 2008, I learned samba percussion and repinique from transcribing Youtube videos of sambistas in Brasil.
In Santa Barbara, I performed with multiple world dance and percussion ensembles, and I was one of the founding members of Santa Barbara Samba School. One highlight was when I directed an all female samba percussion group in the Santa Barbara Solstice Parade.
Napster and the digital revolution inspired me to work with audio. I wanted to participate in the evolving music and media industry, so in 2011, I jumped at the chance to buy microphones and really learn how to produce music. It was a major accomplishment a year later when I completed an album of original music, including the song "I Am Guaguanco".
I love playing conga drums, and I wish to make music with happiness and good humor. As an American, female student of world percussion, it has been impossible for me to do so if I agree to replicate some of the restrictive paradigms that are commonly taught to be part of non-American rhythmic cultures. When writing this song, I used my discernment to choose the elements of Guaguanco that I could perform with happiness and good humor. I made this Guaguanco Challenge video a few years ago with the hope that it would eventually find it's right audience. I am grateful that the Hit Like a Girl contest has given me a chance to get it out there!
I currently work as a freelance sound person for film and tv in Los Angeles. This is my website: Spinguin.com