Performer/composer/educator Marla Leigh specializes in percussion from around the world. Growing up in Rochester, N.Y, Marla started her musical journey at young age, studying piano at age 5 and flute at age 9. A growing interest in improvisation lead her to California Institute of the Arts, where she studied jazz flute. Almost immediately after entering college, Marla was introduced to the incredible world of hand drumming and her musical focus changed.
As a soloist, Marla creates sonically satisfying environments with a variety of ethnic drums and flutes. Marla also performs as the leader of her own group, "Marla Leigh's Percussion Ensemble". She has performed in the Los Angeles area at The Skirball Center, The Knitting Factory and at the Earth Day Festival. Other venues include Luzerne Switzerland Music Festival, Bali Arts Festival, Irish Music Festival, Percussive Arts Convention and at the Hawaii Healing Festival.
Marla has been commissioned to write works for dance ensembles, movies, univerities and for short animation films. Marla has also organized two successful Women's Drumming and Yoga Retreats in Hawaii and is often hired to teach drumming at various yoga and holistic retreats around the world.
Currently, Marla resides in Los Angeles, CA, where she is an active educator and performer. A new CD, "Division By Zero", featuring Marla is to be released by Summer of 2004. Marla is also getting ready to record her debut CD of original music, including drums, electronica, flute, voice and special surprises. This CD is expected to be released in Summer '05....a very very exciting project indeed. And there's more, Marla recently finished recording a Percussion Instructional Duet DVD, called "Time Zone", and will be released in November 2004.
Marla has studied with some of the finest percussion masters in the world, such as, John Bergamo, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Glen Velez, Trichy Sankaran, Poovalar Srinivasaan, Kobla and Alfred Ladzekpo, and Randy Gloss. She plays a variety of ethnic drums, such as frame drums, North Indian Tabla, South Indian Kanjira and Solkattu, West African Drums (from the Ewe people of Ghana). She has also studied western and non-western (Bali and Indian) flutes and composition. Marla received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music and a Master of Fine Arts in Percussion from CalArts and has also studied at Ali Akbar College in San Rafael and the Bhavan Center in London, England. Home Contact | Location
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