SURYA PRAKASHA

Surya Prakasha started drumming in 1991 after enrolling in a high school world music course, and fell in love with music from different parts of the globe.   He went the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and got his Bachelor of Music. There he studied with his primary teacher Greg Bandy.  He also took formative lessons with Joe Morello and Michael Rosen.  Surya studied and performed African diaspora percussion with Santeria priests Adenike Sharpley and Adetobi Greg Jackson.  He studied African-American music history and composition with Wendell Logan.  

After Oberlin, Surya travelled to DeGambia (West Africa) and stayed with an dance and drumming troupe.  He then moved back to the Bay Area, playing jazz gigs and doing community outreach to at-risk youth.  He also spent some time performing brazilian street drumming (batucada) with Samba Do Coracao and studying voice with Julia Uhlehla and Rita Sahai.  Surya has been performing for the last 15 years with musicians such as Mike Olmos, Jane Monheit, Taylor Eigsti, Jules Broussard, Frank Martin and Eric Crystal.  He currently plays with Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Dave Scott, Brian Moran, Trio Paz, Gary Schwantes, and Bolo, as well as other projects.  He has been teaching drumming for 13 years and currently teaches drums from his studio in San Pablo.  Surya completed a sound healing certificate program at CIIS and since then has incorporated teaching drums to populations with special needs.  He believes music is a powerful tool to be in service to others.  Surya currently studies voice and harmonium with Jai Uttal and leads kirtans of his own.