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Jamal Mohamed

Adjunct Lecturer, Director of the Meadows World Music Ensemble; Instructor: Percussion Ensemble, Hand Drumming and Ethnic Percussion

Jamal Mohamed has been a featured artist in many international music events, having performed with Sting, Mark O’Connor, Toumani Diabaté, Giovanni Hidalgo and many other well-known artists. He has presented percussion workshops at venues worldwide, including Berklee College of Music in Boston; the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City; the Tokyo School of Music in Tokyo, Japan; the American University in Cairo, Egypt; the Center for World Music in Bali, Indonesia; and the University of Hong Kong, to name a few.

A native of Lebanon, Jamal grew up in the Chicago area, where he was exposed to rich blues and jazz traditions as well as the Middle Eastern music he heard at home, and studied with the illustrious Roy Knapp, known as the “Dean of Percussion” at the famous Frank’s Drum Shop on Wabash Avenue.

Known for his virtuosity on the doumbek, an Arabic goblet drum, Jamal has incorporated many innovative jazz and Latin styles with this ancient instrument. He is acknowledged as a master craftsman and builds many of his own instruments. In 2010 Toca Percussion introduced three “Jamal” signature doumbeks, which he designed with Toca. In 2018 Toca introduced five more “Jamal” signature drums including a riq (Arabic tambourine), three frame drums and two mazhars (large deep-shelled tambourines).

Jamal was one of the founding members of the percussion group D’drum, the 2010 winner of DRUM! magazine’s award for best percussion group. The group has been featured in two documentaries, one an Emmy Award-winning PBS short film that documents their travels and observations as related to world percussion and the other, Gamelan D’Drum, directed by John Bryant, about the group’s collaboration with composer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame drummer Stewart Copeland of the Police, and the Dallas Symphony.

Jamal is currently on the faculty at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, where he teaches percussion and directs the Meadows World Music Ensemble. He is also the founder and director of SMU-in-Bali, a study abroad program that explores the arts and culture of Indonesia. In addition, he is active as a performer with Balinese group Mandala and the improvisational group Drum and Wind and leads his own world music group, the Jamal Mohamed Ensemble. For further information, visit http://www.jamalmohamed.com.

Jamal Mohamed plays and endorses:

  • Toca Percussion
  • Sabian Cymbals
  • Pro-Mark Drum Sticks

Research

Created signature drum for Toca percussion.

Teaching

Meadows World Music Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Hand Drumming and Ethnic Percussion

Publications

Percussive Notes, Nov. 2010. Toca instructional videos.

Distinctions

Percussion group, D'Drum voted best percussion group in 2010 by Drum magazine

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