Cooperman artist endorsers bring particularly innovative approaches to their performances and their teaching clinics.  Our Artist Innovation Series of drums is designed to reflect the particular playing style and focus of some of these artists.  Our AIS mark identifies the frame drums in this series.

Jamey Haddad: Hadjira and coming soon DoubleTake Tar

Jamey plays with bands led by Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Paul Simon and Panamanian pianist/composer Danilo Perez. He regularly collaborates with Simon and Garfunkel, Yo Yo Ma, Nancy Wilson and Brazil’s Assad Brothers, just to name a few. He has won three performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Haddad teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin College and his alma mater, Berklee.

Glen Velez: Tars, Bendirs, Bodhran and Handdance Series workshop tars

Four time Grammy Award winner, Glen Velez is the founding Father of the modern Frame Drum movement and is regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences world-wide. Velez brought a new genre of drumming to the contemporary music scene by creating his own performance style inspired by years of percussion and frame drumming studies from various cultures. Velez’s virtuosic combinations of hand movements, finger techniques, along with his original compositional style, which incorporates stepping, drum language and Central Asian Overtone singing (split-tone singing), has undoubtedly opened new possibilities for musicians around the globe, resulting in a shift in modern percussion.

Ganesh Kumar: Kanjira

Ganesh Kumar is largely responsible for popularizing the kanjira instrument in USA, Europe and other countries. His DVD titled “The Art of Kanjira” is used by frame drummers and percussionists all over the world as a benchmark manual for this instrument and asa  guide to Ganesh’s unique performing techniques. Ganesh Kumar has performed globally with many Indian legends and Jazz greats including Bela Fleck, Paul Horn, John Wubbenhorst, Max Roach, Victor Wooten, Fareed Haque and others.

Houman Pourmehdi: Dayereh

HOUMAN POURMEHD is a master percussionist, well known for his diverse abilities as a musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He was introduced to Persian music by his father, and received his first Tonbak at the age of three from his grandfather. He was privileged to study Tonbak under guidance of the late Grand Master Amir Nasser Eftetah. At sixteen he continued his studies at the Center for Preservation and Propagation of National Music, where he completed the techniques of playing Tonbak under supervision of Master Morteza Ayan. His interest in the spiritual path of Sufis introduced him to the Ghaderi Sufi order’s virtuoso Daf players, such as Haj Agha Sadeghi, Mirza Agha Ghosi, and Darvish Karim, with whom he studied the heart-to-heart traditional techniques of playing Daf. Pourmehdi moved to Chicagoin 1988, where he founded the society for the Advancement and Preservation of Traditional Persian Music. Houman is both a recording artist and concert musician. He has appeared at many radio and TV interviews with live performance. He has performed widely throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and North Africa. Houman has been performing with the Salaams ensemble, sponsored by the Music Center of Los Angeles since 2005. He is the recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship Award C.O.L.A. 2008, L.A. Treasures Awards 2004 & 2008, ACTA the Folk & Traditional Arts Mentorship Initiative 2004 & 2006, and ACTA Apprenticeship Program 2003. Houman has composed music for two plays “Philoktetes” and “Medea” . In 1996 Houman co-founded The Lian Ensemble. He currently lives in Los Angeles, and teaches Persian Percussion at the CalArts (California Institute of the Arts).

N. Scott Robinson Goldeneye 2N. Scott RobinsonNSR Goldeneye series

N. Scott Robinson, world percussionist, brings an enormous breadth of  world percussion traditions to the stage and the classroom.  Currently teaching world percussion, world music ensemble, and courses in world, American, and popular music at San Diego Mesa College in California, he has performed with a long list of instrumentalists, composers, vocal artists and ensembles, including Benny Carter Big Band, The Cleveland Orchestra, Glen Velez, Marilyn Horne, Paul Winter Consort, John Cage, George Crumb, Annea Lockwood, Michael Colgrass, Howard Levy, Malcolm Dalglish, Gerald Alston, and Jeanie Bryson, among others. Robinson’s music has been released on 2 CDs by the German label United One (World View-1994 & Things That Happen Fast-2001), his instructional video was published by Wright Hand Drum (Hand Drumming:  Exercises for Unifying Technique-1996), and 13 scores of his compositions have been published by HoneyRock Publishing (2003) and New World View Music-BMI (2004/2009).   He earned his BA degree in music at Rutgers University and MA/Ph.D. in ethnomusicology & musicology at Kent State University and endorses Cooperman frame drums. For more about N. Scott Robinson, please see

Marla Leigh: MarlaTar

Performer/composer/educator Marla Leigh specializes in percussion from around the world. As a soloist, Marla creates sonically satisfying environments with a variety of ethnic drums and flutes.  She has released an instructional DVD, Time Zone, and is currently finishing another educational DVD, The Radiant Drummer, and completing her debut album, Rhythms in Ahava.  Marla performs with her ensemble, Rhythmjuju, as a soloist, and with other groups.  She has written commissioned pieces for Brooklyn Parks Elementary and the University of Kentucky.  Her music can be heard in the films, Cellist and Bold Native.  Marla received a BFA and MFA in Percussion Studies from CalArts, and has studied with Master drummers, John Bergamo, Glen Velez, Swapan Chaudhuri, Trichy Sankaran, Poovalur Sriji and Randy Gloss.

Andrea Piccioni: Tamburello

Considered one of the greatest exponents of the art of frame drumming, Andrea Piccioni, through his studies with great Italian, European, Persian, Turkish, Indian and American teachers, has developed an extraordinary capacity to move through various musical genres and styles, re-ellaborating the language of the Tamburello and various frame drums in a truly personal manner, both virtuosic and expressive.
Founder of the first international frame drums festival “European Frame Drummers Meeting” (Barcelona, Spain), he also holds regular workshops and masterclasses at prestigious festivals including: Nafda (USA), Big Bang Festival (Dublin, Ireland), Internationales Percussionfestival Freistadt (Freistadt, Austria), Tamburi Iran (Isfahan, Iran), Percpan 2009 (Brasile) and is a resident at the most important frame drums festival worldwide, Tamburi Mundi (Freiburg, Germany).  He is president of the Frame Drums Italia association, and Artistic Director of their annual frame drums festival in the Marche region of Italy (FDI international frame drums festival).  He is the author of the first method book for the Italian Tamburello titled “Il Tamburello Italiano”, and in 2009 he published the first DVD teaching method entirely dedicated to the Tamburello, also titled “Il Tamburello Italiano”.

Rowan Storm: Dayereh

With more than 25 years of experience with cultures and drumming of the Middle East and Mediterranean, Rowan Storm is recognized internationally as a performer and educator. Rowan brings freshness to tradition with her teaching method and frame drum designs.
With a parallel study of brain function and wellness, Rowan is pioneering the symmetrical frame drum position. The shallow depth of Rowan’s Frame Drum designs enables both hands to play all the strokes, while holding the drum equally with both hands. As the non-dominant hand is called into action, the rational is harmonized with the intuitive, and startling new sources of creativity are unleashed.
Throughout theUS, Europe and theMiddle East, Rowan has studied and performed with some of the greatest masters of Middle Eastern music. Maintaining a full international concert and workshop schedule, Rowan plays and teaches a wide vocabulary of drumming styles, and sings in several languages. Based on walking, Rowan’s teaching method connects us deeply with our innate rhythmical nature while promoting balance between both brain hemispheres.

Todd Roach: Hybrid Tambourine

Todd Roach is a percussionist, teacher and producer living in Vermont. USA.  He has studied the world of Middle Eastern and North African percussion instruments since 1989. His teachers have included master drummers Vince Delgado and Glen Velez.  In addition, he has participated in a variety of workshops and master classes over the years with Jamey Haddad, Trichy Sankaran, Simone Shaheen, George Sawa, David Nelson and Subash Chandran.  In 2008, 2009 and 2011 he performed and taught at the international frame drum festival Tamburi Mundi, in Freiburg, Germany. In the summer of 2009, he recorded and released an album,Strange But True, with the Vermont based ensemble the As Yet Quintet. In 2000 Todd released an instructional with Carl Fisher Publishing, The Quick Guide to Playing Doumbec.

Roach is an active educator that has taught percussion-based residencies and clinics in schools and festivals in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe. Todd is active in his local community as well, serving as the founder and co-director of two education programs in Brattleboro, the Kindle Farm School Music and Arts Program and The Loft Youth Percussion Ensemble. In addition to performing and teaching, Todd is the founder and manager of The Loft in Brattleboro, Vermont – a performance and teaching space dedicated to acoustic world music. The Loft has hosted concerts for touring artists such as Glen Velez, John Bergamo and the Hands On’Semble, Ganesh Kumar, Subash Chandran, Layne Redmond, Raquy Danziger, Ganesh Anandan, Patrick Graham, N. Scott Robinson, Latif Bolat and many more.


Judy Piazza: Riqq

A percussionist, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, music therapist, and educator, Judy performs, facilitates workshops, and teaches nationally/internationally. Judy is founder of Resonance & Rhythms, member of the Michigan-based percussion ensemble Repercussions, artistic director and founder of the past frame drum ensemble Bendira, and artist with VSA Arts. She continues to delve deeply into the nature and use of rhythm and sound among first peoples, as well as the sonic possibilities and healing aspects of rhythm, voice, didgeridoo, and tone. She has traveled to Peru, Brazil, Central America, India, and Japan to study and experience the rhythmic and vocal traditions of indigenous peoples there, or to teach/perform, and has lived in Europe. She facilitates frame drum workshops, rhythm and song circles, Sound Energetics workshops, Tuning the Human Instrument classes, Earth Rhythm & Songs school assemblies, and interactive performances for all ages to nurture community as well as to communicate gentle yet powerful messages regarding relationships to our self, each other, and to our Earth. Past affiliations includeUplandHillsSchool & EcologicalAwarenessCenter, Young Audiences of Michigan,KennedyCenter, Wolf Trap, andBloomfieldHillsModelHighSchool.

Matt Kilmer:  99 Slapback Tar

Since 2009 Matt Kilmer has spearheaded the expansion of Cooperman’s line of hybrid/fusion tar drums.   Blending traditional instruments and rhythms with a fresh perspective on contemporary styles of music, Matt is a powerhouse of a performer with his band The Mast, a composer, and a strong clinician.  Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and playing drumset since the age of eight, Matt attended Berklee College of Music where he studied drumset with Skip Hadden and Casey Scheuerell.  Kilmer learned from Jamey Haddad the techniques of playing frame drums and other percussion that have become the centerpiece of Matt’s playing. His instruments of choice include frame drum, kanjira, tabla, ocean drum, djembe, cajon, hadgini and drumset.  Matt has shared the stage with artists such as Lauryn Hill, master udist Simon Shaheen, Jamey Haddad, saxist Matt Dariau’s Paradox trio (which includes guitarist Brad Shepik, and cellist Rufus Cappadocia), kaval player Theodosii Spasov, bansuri master Steve Gorn, Krishna Das, guitarist David Nichtern, basist Mark Egan, cellist Eugene Freisen, harmonica player Howard Levy, guitarist/singer Leni Stern, vibraphonist David Friedman, pianist Leo Blanco, Haale, guitarist John Shannon, basist Justin Purtill, basist Mitch Cohn, bansurist Josh Geisler, and programmer Brian Ales among others. His recent work with electronic music has shown another aspect to his musicianship. Throughout his career as a musician, Matt has had the opportunity to travel around the world and perform for many different audiences from various cultures. Currently residing in New York City, Matt continues to perform and has recently released a CD with his band The Mast – Wild Poppies.

Widget not in any sidebars