The Authors

Ken Dalluge and Julian Gerstin met in 1980 in Seattle, Washington. Together they founded the world beat band Juba and pursued many other opportunities to gig and learn together. In 1987 they team-taught at the International Music Seminar in Montpellier, France, beginning another stage in their collaboration, which now includes college teaching residencies and professional education workshops. Their shared ability to communicate musical concepts led to this book.

Contact us for workshops in rhythm skills and theory; Brazilian samba and the music of Ghana, Cuba, and Martinique (including songs and dances); and teacher training.

Julian Gerstin, PhD
, is a percussionist specializing in the traditional music of Cuba, Martinique and Ghana. In the world of jazz, Julian plays with and composes for Look Out Brass Band, combining jazz horns with African and Caribbean percussion, and the Balkan-Latin American jazz ensemble As Yet Quintet. In the realm of popular music, Julian currently plays with Cuban son band De Lomas y Sones and has performed with British punk legend Richard Hell and the Voidoids; African bands Kotoja, Zulu Spear, and Orlando Julius Ekemode; and numerous others playing salsa, samba, reggae, funk, R&B, and cajun. Julian’s recordings with these groups appear on the Putumayo and Rounder labels, among others.

As a traditional musician, Julian is a member of Afrocuban folkloric ensemble Iroko Nuevo and has worked extensively with musicians from Cuba, Martinique, and Ghana. Julian’s teachers include CK Ladzekpo, Milford Graves, Sandy Pérez, John Santos, Michael Spiro, Lorenzo Peñavel, Paulo Rastocle, Etienne Jean-Baptiste, and many others. In 1993-95 Julian lived in Martinique, studying traditional bèlè drumming and dance, and performing with the great folkloric singer Siméline Rangon, the Carnival band Plastic System, and jazz artists Paco Charlery and Charly Labinsky. Julian completed a PhD on Martinican music in 1996, and his articles on Caribbean music have appeared in several scholarly journals. Together with Dominique Cyrille, Julian edited two CDs of early Alan Lomax recordings of French Caribbean music, Cane Fields and City Streets and We Will Play Love Tonight, both on Rounder Records.

In the legit music world, Julian has sung with the River Singers chorus, accompanied and arranged for the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, and has had compositions commissioned for percussion ensembles at Western Kentucky University and Keene State College. He has studied composition with Joel Harrison, Harry Likacs, and Eugene Uman.

As a day gig, Julian teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire and the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, where he is President of the Board of Directors. He has also taught at Wesleyan University, Marlboro College, Clark University, and San José State.

To learn more or to hear examples of Julian’s music, visit the links above or Julian’s website,

KenKen Dalluge, the son and grandson of trumpeters, at the age of six begged to switch from accordion to drum lessons, and a lifetime passion began. At 15, Ken began gigging and paying union dues; in college he led the University of Minnesota drum line while studying music and music education with Marvin Dahlgren, Frank Bencriscutto, and Paula Culp. After college Ken spent several years on the road, performing 300 nights a year with all manner of funk, rock, blues, R&B, and show bands.

In the late 1970s-early 80s, based in Seattle, Ken concentrated on jazz, Cuban, and Brazilian music, performing with jazz vocalist Diane Schuur, Brazilian ensemble Batucada Iemanja, several salsa groups, and accompanying musical theater and dance troupes. His teachers during this period included George Marsh, Obo Addy, Michael Spiro, Murayima Oyelami, and Gary Harding. Ken’s studies of Brazilian traditions have taken him to Brazil several times, where he became an initiated lead drummer in the Brazilian religion Umbanda.

Ken’s next stop was six years in Paris, touring Europe with jazzmen Jean Pierre Llabador, Jacques Bouniard, and Mike Cahen; working as house drummer at the floating jazz club Le Calife; playing in the well-known French-Israeli wedding band L’Orchestre Dov Amiel; demonstrating percussion systems for Yamaha Musique France; and co-producing and teaching at the International Music Seminar summer jazz workshops in Montpellier and Antibes.

Ken settled in Santa Cruz, California, in 1993 and has maintained a career as a full-time, freelance player/educator. Still immersed in Brazilian music, Ken is the musical director of Batucada Nana,