We're excited to introduce a great team of instructors and facilitators.
Alex Connett +
Alex started playing the drums 15 years ago and has been a member of several percussion groups and ensembles in Georgia, Texas, and Minnesota. She started playing drum set when she was 12 years old and has continued to explore drum culture throughout her life. She marched the snare drum in high school, was part of the Steel Pan Drum Ensemble in college, and has played the djembe and djun djun drums in performance groups in Austin and Minneapolis.
Alex also teaches frame drum making classes and leads food and drumming workshops. Her current drum practice integrates the rhythms of the drum with mindfulness and gratitude around cooking and sharing meals in community. She is excited to share, learn, and drum with others at the WDC! For more information visit: https://www.fiercefemininefire.com/rhythmic-recipes/
Alyssa Moffatt +
Alyssa has over 20 years of experience playing African music in group settings, performing live and on multiple recordings. She is a student of Sowah Mensa and can be heard playing and singing on two of his albums. For over 14 years, she was a member of African music ensembles at Macalester College and St. Thomas University. She served as lead vocalist, lead drummer, vocal coach, section leader, and event coordinator. Alyssa. Is a passionate musician and gyil artist. She joined drumHeart and the Women’s Drum Center in 2019.
Bettie Seitzer +
Bettie Seitzer, an accomplished musician since age 10, discovered her love for drumming six years ago. As a member of drumHeart, the Women's Drum Center performance ensemble, she enjoys performing and learning new compositions to share with other women.
In addition to hand and stick drumming, Bettie has also enjoyed playing the violin as a member of a blues and bluegrass band working the upper Midwest hotel circuit. She currently studies the harp with a local instructor.
Brooke Darrah-Hage +
Brooke Darrah-Hage has been playing and performing West African music for over 20 years. She has had the good fortune to work and study extensively with composer, ethnomusicologist and Master Drummer Sowah Mensa at Macalester College, the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota. Brooke is an accomplished gyil artist and will be teaching gyil classes at the WDC. She joined drumHeart and the WDC in 2019
Dan Engebretson +
Dan Engebretson has been an active member of the Twin Cities hand drumming scene for the past 20 years.
His passion is studying and playing traditional West African djembe and djundjun rhythms, and for over 15 years he has taken lessons and workshops with such notables as Guinean drummers Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate', Fode' Bangoura, Sekou Conde, Abdoul Doumbia from Mali, and many other drummers from Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
He is a member of Mamady Keita's Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy, a detailed and comprehensive curriculum designed to train teachers on the knowledge of Malinke rhythms. He also studies traditional "village style" drumming from the teachings of Malian drum master Sega Sidibe'. Additionally, Dan has studied with various U.S. drummers including Michael Markus, Paulo Mattioli and locals Kenne Thomas and Brian Van Tassel.
Dan has played many fundraising and charity events with Kenne Thomas' drumming group Mpulse, has played percussion for the Latin singer Caterina, and was a member of the WI African-styled percussion group Badoumbe'. In 2013 he worked with 'at risk youth' at the Anoka County Juvenile Detention Center for a two-month program teaching djembe drumming to incarcerated teenagers.
Aside from his love of music, Dan also studies all aspects of traditional West African culture and enjoys books, wine and foreign travel.
Jo Klein +
Jo Klein's musical background includes teaching acoustic guitar, serving as a youth summer music leader for over a decade, and participating in vocal and bell choirs. Additionally, Jo organizes and performs for monthly coffee house events at her church, and she enjoys collaborating with others in duo and group gigs. Jo has been a member of the Women's Drum Center's performance ensemble, drumHeart, since 2009, playing a variety of stick and hand drums such as surdo, tom and djembe.
Jo currently teaches beginning stick and hand drum classes and has led a popular co-ed drum circle at the Women’s Drum Center since 2011.
"Music is most meaningful to me when it is participatory and shared with others. I am proud to be a part of a drum ensemble that provides energy and joy to so many recreational and charitable events."
Kathy Crockett +
Instructor info coming soon!
Wendy Jedlicka +
Wendy Jedlicka is the coordinator for Taikollaborative -- part of the drum-group cadre finding a home at the Women's Drum Center.
By day Wendy is a packaging designer and sustainable design and business educator, but in most other waking moments, she's a taiko fanatic. Taking-up taiko as a hobby in her mid-thirties, over the years she has studied with today's best known taiko leaders. Wendy is also a seasoned mentor in her own right, and is a guest instructor for the LA Taiko Institute. As now an older player, Wendy is always on the lookout for ways to: improve as a performer; work around physical limitations; and stay healthy for the long-haul.
"My drumming bio? I started performing as New York City's worst punk drummer in 1980... then in 1997, taiko inserted itself into my life... what more can one really say other than -- Two sticks, one drum, BIG joy?!"