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Elizabeth was born in New Haven, Conneticut. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, but spent three years of her childhood living in Madrid, Spain. She received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and has been studying percussion since 1990. Her primary focus has been the research of Afro-Cuban percussion.  Elizabeth is of Cuban descent and has studied in Havana, Cuba at Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, and in Matanzas, Cuba with the world renown percussion ensemble Los Munequitos de Matanzas.  She has sought out specific instructors throughout her career delving into the drumming dialects of Brazilian Batucadas, Senegalese Sabar, Puerto Rican Plena, and more.

 Tuatara

Tuatara

In 1992, she moved to Seattle, Washington, and formed an eclectic percussive jazz group, Manah. The group composed collaboratively, received positive press, and gained recognition mostly for their live performances and tours. This increased exposure paved the way for other musical avenues for Elizabeth including recording session work, as well as becoming a member of the band Tuataraled by Barrett Martin, with members of R.E.M., Los Lobos, Luna, and Screaming Trees. She has recorded and toured with the band BRAD, featuring members of Pearl Jam, and also performed regularly in Seattle with Reggie Watts, who is currenty band director of the James Corden Show. Elizabeth feels that she strengthened her voice as a percussionist through playing with a variety of musicians in Seattle whom she considers family. The invaluable experience she gained from improvising and performing with these players was formative to the development of her signature sound. 

 John Legend and The National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center

John Legend and The National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center

Elizabeth moved to New York in 2004 and formed the seven-piece Latin Jazz group La Buya, with acclaimed west coast saxophonists SkerikCochemea Gastelum and Jessica Lurie. She also began freelancing as a musician, and  provided percussion for NYC dance classes and theater productions with The Actors Temple Theater, Double Helix Theater, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and Djoniba Dance and Drum. Elizabeth has shared the stage with a variety of Latin artists, such as David Oquendo, Nestor Torres, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Obini Ashe, Ozomatli, San Rafael Band, Pacha Massive, Abe Delgado Gomez, and Alvaro Benavides.  

 Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings with Michael Bublé

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings with Michael Bublé

score and studio Work

Currently, she is enjoying a variety of session work. In particular, she is affiliated with Dunham Records, Diamond Mine Recording, and daptone records.

In 2015-2018, Elizabeth contributed her percussive skills to:

The HBO series "Vinyl"  Soundtrack

Harding's record placed in npr's 10 best r&B albums of 2017

Kevin Morby

The score and songs for the Neflix series "The Get Down" including score contributions with the rapper Nas, and the song "Telepathy" with Christina Aguilera. . 

Disney's remake of "Jungle Book", produced by Mark Ronson. "Trust in Me" sung by Scarlett Johannson

Score and songs for the documentary, “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America" Produced by Tom Brenneck

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Fox film "Keeping Up With The Joneses"  I'll be around" sung by Sharon Jones and Lee Fields

 

INSTRUMENTS

Congas

Bongos

Cajon

Auxiliary Percussion (cabasa, shekere, clave, maracas, etc…

Djembe

Roland Handsonic digital percussion

 

HIGHLIGHT PERFORMANCES

1997-2017

BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)5/25/17

with The Michael Leonart Orchestra performing the score for Jose Parla's film ONE: Union of the Senses

 

Irving Plaza, NYC 1/7/17

Lee Fields and the Expressions

 

RED ROCKS Amphitheater, Colorado 09/12/2016

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

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Riverside Auditorium, California 11/04/15

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings 

Herodeon Amphitheater Athens, Greece 07/16/2014

monika with andrew wyatt

  Herodeon Ampitheater at the Parthenon. Athens, Greece.

Herodeon Ampitheater at the Parthenon. Athens, Greece.

 

Thalia Hall - Symphony Space, New York 09/16/2014

Galeet Dardashti and Divahn

 

Lincoln Center, New York 08/13/2013

Les McCann and Mocean Worker- in honor of legendary record producer Joel Dorn

 

Lincoln Center, New York 07/20/2012

In honor of Curtis Mayfield with The Roots, Sinead O’Connor, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dr. Lonnie Smith and more...

 

  Lincoln Center with Bilal. Musical director Binky Griptite.

Lincoln Center with Bilal. Musical director Binky Griptite.

Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. 01/31/2012

Tribute to Marvin Gaye with John Legend and Sharon Jones and the Dapkings

 

Bridgestone Music Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil 05/16/2010

Bedrock featuring Uri Caine, Zach Danziger, Tim Lefebvre

 

 

UMass Amherst Fine Arts

Galeet Dardashti and Divahn

 

The Blue Note, NYC  2007

Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet

 

The Blue Note, NYC  6/09/2006

Samita Sinha & Sunny Jain

 

Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, Prospect Park, Brooklyn 07/14/2005

Pacha and Ozomatli

 

Zebulon, Brooklyn, Ny. 12/12/2004

La Buya

 

Symphony Space, NYC 12/05/2003

Obini Ashe Afro Cuban Folkloric Ensemble

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Peter Gabriel's Womad Music Festival, Seattle, Washington 07/2001

Tuatara, Zakir Hussain, Michael Franti, Hukwe Sawosa, and Joan Osbourne

 

Baltic Room Seattle,Wa. 12/15/2000

Jambalaya with Reggie Watts and Nikol Kollars

 

Gorge Amphitheater George,Wa. 5/20/1999

La Movida

opening up for Santana

 

Seattle Opera House 08/30/1997

Tuatara featuring members of R.E.M. and Los Lobos

 

High Sierra Music Festival, Bear Valley, Ca. 06/1997  

Manah

 

Elizabeth has been in over 50 musical projects and recorded with many groups.

  NPR Tiny Desk with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

NPR Tiny Desk with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings