River Guerguerian is one of those amazing no-boundaries artists. He’s an explorer of percussion genres, traditions and cultures, and he brings it all together into a versatile arsenal of performing styles and techniques. His training has ranged from the Manhattan School of Music to the five years he spent living in the Himalayas, and he’s well versed in Middle Eastern, Indian, Western, African and Afro-Cuban styles. He can blend world music with jazz, or Eastern hand percussion with bluegrass – and every time he does, it works. River has recorded on hundreds of albums and soundtracks, and has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, New Music Consort, Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble, Paul Winter Consort, Talujon Percussion Ensemble, Lizz Wright, Chuck Berry, Sophie B. Hawkins, and Ziggy Marley. He’s been on stage at Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center and other concert halls all over the world.
We had the great pleasure of consulting with River in designing a snare to be part of his hybrid drum kit, where it has to produce a multitude of sounds, blend with frame drums and djembes, and provide an articulate backbeat. Watching River play always makes us smile – partly because he’s so inventive and multi-faceted, and partly because his delight in drumming is contagious.