Salil Sachdev is on the faculty of music at Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts, USA. He has composed music for the orchestra, percussion, piano, theater, voice, and electronic music. His teaching areas comprise music theory, form and analysis, introduction to world music, and introduction to music of Africa. As well, he founded and directed the West African Drumming Ensemble at BSU for fifteen years. Salil’s interest in world music has taken him to India, Ireland, Africa, and Cuba. He has studied hand percussion (including West African Djembe drumming), the Bodhrán (Irish drum), and Solkattu, the rhythmic system of south India.
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Gregory Beyer is a Fulbright Scholar and a contemporary music specialist with significant experience in orchestral, jazz, and world music who combines the multiple disciplines of 21st Century percussion into a singular artistic voice. He has given solo performances and masterclasses throughout the world. Beyer is Associate Professor and Head of Percussion Studies at Northern Illinois University, where he directs the Percussion Ensemble (performed at PASIC in 2009 and 2013) and New Music Ensemble. He is also the director of Arcomusical, an organization that creates and promotes contemporary music for tuned gourd-resonated musical bows.
Jennifer W. Kyker is assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and has received both Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays fellowships in support of her research. In addition to her scholarship, Jennifer founded the nonprofit organization Tariro, which educates teenaged girls in Zimbabwean communities affected by HIV/AIDS (www.tariro.org). Her recent publications include articles in Ethnomusicology (2013) and Ethnomusicology Forum (2014).
Jason Finkelman's art focuses on improvised music, cross-cultural collaborative projects, and composition for dance. A Philadelphia-born percussionist specializing in the berimbau, Finkelman performs on African and Brazilian instruments and laptop electronics and founded the ambient, avant world trio Straylight. Collaborative work with choreographer Cynthia Oliver includes BOOM! (2012-15), Rigidigidim de Bamba de: Ruptured Calypso (2009-10) and “Bessie” award winning performances SHEMAD (2000) and Death’s Door (1996). As Director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Finkelman curates music for several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign programs including the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music.