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Eastman’s diverse world music ensembles are taught by renowned performers, and are an integral part of our MA and PhD programs in ethnomusicology. They are also open to community members through the Eastman Community Music School, with no prior musical experience required.

Eastman Mbira Ensemble:

The music of the Zimbabwean mbira dzavadzimu features sophisticated polyphonic melodies, vibrant polyrhythmic relationships, and exciting ensemble dynamics. Played at a wide variety of spiritual and secular events, it also offers students a window into contemporary Zimbabwean social contexts. Eastman’s mbira ensemble is co-directed by Dr. Jennifer Kyker and Glenn West.

Gamelan Lila Muni (Heavenly Sound):

Founded by ethnomusicologist Ellen Koskoff, Gamelan Lila Muni is an ancient four-tone gamelan angklung that traditionally performs music for rituals and ceremonies.

Gamelan Sanjiwani (Life Force):

Directed by I Nyoman Suadin, Gamelan Sanjiwani is a five-tone gamelan gong kebyar ensemble. The gong kebyar developed in the 20th century, and is associated with youthful exuberance and characterized by explosive changes in tempo and dynamics.

West African Drumming Ensemble:

Led by Master Drummer Fana Bangoura, the West African Drumming Ensemble is dedicated to the dynamic percussive traditions of Guinea. The ensemble combines the iconic djembe hand drum with a trio of drums played with sticks, known as dunun, sangban, and kenkeni