"Our talented team of facilitators, keynote speakers and drummers Unite and inspire audiences across Alberta and British Columbia with unique, interactive drumming events."


 

Mbuyiselo 'Munkie' Ncapayi

 

Mbuyiselo, known as "Munkie", was born in Langa (meaning "Sun") in Cape Town, South Africa – a Township brimming with talent. He is from the Xhosa tribe and a member of the Ndlovu (Elephant) Clan. Growing up in impoverished township South Africa, his only creative outlet was drumming and started his performance career at the age of 7.

Displaying an innate natural talent for drumming and percussion has put him on the trajectory toward becoming the successful Master Drummer that he is today. Munkie has played for a wide variety of audiences on a global level. His performing career includes solo performances, Drumming accompanist in various Dance Companies, World Music Bands and Theatre productions. His performance footprint hast taken him throughout South Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. Munkie is regarded as one of South Africa's top ethnic drummers and revered drum teacher, having perfected the Djembe Drum, Talking Drum, Zimbabwe Master Drums, Zulu Drums and Doun Doun. Other instruments he is proficient at playing are: African Kudu Horn & Flute.

In 1996 Munkie joined Drum Cafe with Warren Lieberman and help developed the music now performed globally at the Drum Café. In 2002 he was cast as the lead in Traditional African Drumming in the DrumStruck Theatre production, later to tour off-Broadway for two years and more recently the Edinburgh Festival.

After Munkie performed in the 1994 Common Wealth Games in Victoria BC, he fell in love with Canada and its people and in 2002 brought Drum Café to West Canada and has made his home in beautiful British Colombia.

Grant Sharam

Born in Australia, Grant finally settled in Canada in 2002 after many visits.

Grant holds a Masters degree in Psychology from Sydney University so naturally spent the first 4 years of his working life in the Australian wine industry.

In 1987 he lived in Alberta for a year, working in the Ski Industry before moving to the United Kingdom for a further two years.

After returning to Australia, Grant joined Flight Centre Ltd, Australia's foremost retail travel chain in Senior Management roll. It was through his experience at Flight Centre, that he became involved in Conference and Event management developing a solid understanding of the needs and demands in producing successful corporate events.

Having first hand experience in various Team Building exercises he immediately recognized the power of interactive drum circles as an effective communication tool and found himself naturally drawn to Drum Café and open an office in Calgary.

Grant now lives in Canmore in the Canadian Rockies and heads up the Alberta Team.

Jen Sharam

Originally from Sherwood Park Alberta Jennifer moved to Canmore in 2000.

Jennifer is a qualified teacher and has taught Junior High School for 10 years with a major in drama. She is also an Alternative Health Practitioner and a Certified Personal Trainer. Jennifer holds a master's degree in Education.

In the Summer of 2003 Jennifer attended drumming workshops in Cape Town, South Africa and now owns and operates Drum Café Alberta along side Grant. When Jen is not running the back end office you will find her playing Bass, Doun's and Djembe with the rest of the Alberta team.

Zuzu J. Ramia

While maintaining a career in corporate marketing, Zuzu Ramia has been a professional percussionist in Vancouver since 2003. Performing in the nightlife industry gave him the fortunate opportunity to share the stage with hundreds of world renowned DJ's and musicians. With a degree in English and a minor in theater, his presentation and public speaking skills were greatly improved after joining Drum Café West Canada in 2005. As a facilitator and djembe drummer, Zuzu studied and learned to perfect his craft under the tutelage of Master Drummer Munkie Ncapayi. Currently, he maintains two weekly club residencies and regularly facilitates events with the Drum Café West Canada team.

Brent Van Dusen

Brent is a Calgary-based percussionist, composer and educator. Originally from Manitoba, he has a Bachelors Degree from Brandon University, a Masters Degree from the University of Calgary and has been a resident artist at the Banff Centre on numerous occasions. Brent's recorded output includes 12 CD's as composer, arranger or producer and over 40 CD's as a featured percussionist.

Career highlights include his experience as the "Facilitator of Fun" in the Whistler Olympic Village, leading daily drum circles during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Brent was honored to perform for the Dalai Lama during his visit to Calgary, also his Saddledome debut! Most recently was the world premiere of What Brought Us Here for the Calgary Opera where he wrote and performed his own percussion part.

A short list of performance credits include his own percussion group Conundrum, Red Venus Blue Tango, Oscar Lopez, Youssou Seck, Amir Amiri, Onalea Gilbertson, Sheri D Wilson, Hugh Fraser, the Calgary Philharmonic, One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Alberta Theatre Projects and almost every choir in town! He is pleased to be working with so many friends as the newest member of the Prime Time Big Band and particularly with Dave Jones, who was his Director of Music in the Band of the Ceremonial Guard for 3 summers, let's just say a while ago!

Brent has been Composer and Music Director for several shows, notably at the National Arts Centre, Alberta Theatre Projects, the Banff Centre Summer Arts Festival, New Works Calgary, Quest Theatre, World Dance Alliance, the Instrumental Society of Calgary, Land's End Chamber Ensemble and at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC.

He is Alberta's lead facilitator for the Drum Cafe, an international corporate team building company, has taught at the University of Calgary, the University of Lethbridge, Medicine Hat College and is developing a new course: Introduction to World Music Drumming for the Conservatory at Mount Royal University. Brent is also in demand as a concert percussion clinician, workshop leader and resident artist in Alberta and B.C. school music programs.

Brendan Krieg

Brendan Krieg is a musician from Vancouver BC. He performs regularly as an in demand drummer and has also developed his skills on the guitar, piano and as a songwriter. His versatility in musical styles comes from his studies in music at VCC under percussion guru Sal Ferreras. Since completing his degree at Concordia University in Montreal he has been involved in a myriad of projects/bands as a bandleader and professional sideman, most notably as a core team-member of Drum Cafe West Canada since 2006.

Brendan has been teaching music for fifteen years as a drum/guitar/ensemble instructor. He has honed his teaching style to include a fundamental approach to basic music skills while maintaining a relaxed and positive atmosphere.

Sascha Levin

Sacha Levin is a Vancouver based percussionist who has studied African drumming at renowned African Academy of Music and Arts in Ghana, W. Africa as well as in London England and Vancouver. She has also dipped into Latin percussion here at VCC in Vancouver. She's tidied under Jack Duncan, Mamady Keita, and Pepe Danza to name a few. Sacha is in demand as a gigging and recording musician, works with some of Vancouver's top musicians, and has toured and performed at festivals and concerts throughout Canada, the U.S. and the UK. Sacha joined Drum Café West Canada in 2007 and an integral part of our Core team. Some of the other groups she has worked with include the action drumming group SWARM, Sticks and Skins, SMASH! and award winning cultural group Kathara. When not performing with acts like these, she freelances as a dance accompanist and instructor. Sacha continues to pursue her path as a percussionist - reaching out to all communities, constantly exploring the positive energy and healing power of rhythm, and establishing a meaningful link between rhythm and movement.

Navaro Franco

Navaro Franco has presented in community, corporate, and educational settings for 25 years. She apprenticed with renowned teachers here and in Africa, beginning in 1982. She spent 7 years performing in Canada with Zimbabwean music groups and master musicians, traveling to the source to study with the Zimbabwe National Ensemble, the Chigamba family in Zimbabwe, in 2000.

Navaro apprenticed for 5 years with Mandido Morris of 'Have Drums Will Travel', studying and eventually presenting in Vancouver Art Starts School Show programs with him for 2 years. She also did a 3 year intensive apprenticeship with renowned New York drum teacher and performer, Gordy Ryan of Babatunde Olatunji's 'Drums of Passion'. She played a key role as percussionist for his 25 member ensemble, Island Rhythm, playing West African music and New Orleans Funk.  She has devoted her life to studying tribal music, dance and indigenous traditions. Navaro joined the Drum Café West Canada family in 2008 bringing a wealth of talent soon securing her position in BC core team.