Eric Phinney

Eric is an accomplished percussionist with experience in many diverse musical traditions. As a teaching artist with Young Audiences NY since 2004, Eric has inspired young musicians in the classroom to imagine and create music from great percussion cultures around the world. Whether it is the traditional rhythms of West Africa, Samba from Brazil, or Soca and Reggae from the Caribbean, students learn how to work collaboratively in a musical texture that sometimes involves five or more different parts. The students learn how to listen for directions from a master drum, and how to respond to dialogues between the leader and ensemble. Within the structure of the percussion piece the students are preparing, Eric wants to create space for young musicians to have freedom to express themselves through improvisation. Eric feels it is very important for the students to learn the cultural context community drumming has in the country where it is from. Eric is always inspired when students allow themselves to be a part of a pulsing rhythm that makes them want to move.