Just a few members of our international team! From West African to home-grown talent, our experienced percussionists all have extensive facilitation and performance experience.

Nathan Bregmen

Head on NZ operations

My life long journey into rhythm started completely by accident. In my first year of high school learning an instrument was compulsory, and having started and dropped out of learning the piano at primary school, as the selection sheet went around the room I thought to myself “What instrument is the most different from piano?”. Looking at the sheet in front of me I took a stab in the dark and selected “drumkit”, an instrument that was completely mysterious and unknown to me. How do you make music with drums?

Throughout high school the drums became my solace. My get away from the complications of boarding school life. My place to clear my head of all worries and get lost in the empowerment and flow of creating rhythm. This developed into connection with others as I began to meet other musicians and started jamming with them creating music. I loved the way drums came alive when played with other instruments and how they could create a new feeling that was bigger then the sum of its parts.

Then one day, again completely by accident, I stumbled across a djembe at a party and was intrigued by the number of different sounds created by just one drum. I quickly knew that I would be investigating this drum further, and after university when I moved to Auckland I decided I was in the right place to search out and study more about this instrument.

I sought out lessons and connected with the drumming community up there, initially with the intention to take what I learnt and adapt it to kit, but I quickly fell in love with Djembe and African drumming in its own right. The communion of connecting with and creating music with other drummers. The freedom to explore rhythm and push against the edges. The simplicity to get started, but absolute depth to keep exploring. I became involved in performance groups, recorded an album, and formed some of my most cherished friendships along the way.

These days I offer this experience to others through teaching African drumming. I continue to be blown away by hand drumming’s ability to allow people to experience the magical connection of creating music with others within an incredibly short amount of time. I also use this as a tool to teach communication and social skills to at risk youth, as well as employing it to great effect in the community development sector.

I first met Simon Fraser in 2016, We quickly bonded over our love of African music, and after some discussions around the challenged of getting quality African instruments in New Zealand, decided to work together to bring quality goods to New Zealand shores at a cheeper price point than ever before.

The result was the African Drumming NZ venture that you see before you.

african drumming new zealand

Yaw Asumadu


Born In Ghana Africa, Yaw has lived, breathed and studied African Drumming and music his whole life. He was a member of the Pan-African Orchestra for over 10 years and has performed all over the world in both traditional and fusion groups collaborating with people such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Francis Fuster, Andy Summers and Oren Marshall along the way. Before moving to New Zealand, Yaw has taught classes in London for almost 20 years, and now we are lucky to have him here, creating this exciting opportunity to study with a master of his craft.

Amanda Bregmen


Amandas passion and energy for the art form of African drum and dance has led her to quickly develop her repertoire with many on stage performances under her belt. Her on stage charisma and non threatening style has given her the ability to engage with audiences and introduce many a novice to the exciting world of African drum and dance. She is also a big proponent of the health and fitness benefits of African dance. “There’s something awesome about feeling exhausted after dancing with such joy and excitement, African Dance has this effect on me every time”

Simon Fraser


Simon has been drumming his heart out all his life. Starting with plastic drum-kits and pots n pans as a kid and then graduating to a drum kit, he’s played many styles of music and found his passion in West African rhythms. Annual trips to West Africa since the mid 1990’s have seen him collaborate with some of the regions’ great percussionists. Simon returns to the region every year in search of new music, running a Tour to Africa. His love and knowledge of rhythm translates to his teaching where he focuses on tapping into your creativity, dexterity, honoring tradition and having fun.

Boubacar Gaye


Bouba first laid his hands on a drum in Senegal at the budding age of 14. Inspired by the musical mentors around him he became a member of the infamous Mama Afrika. Under the guidance of ballet professor Joseph-Raphael Bouschanzl, Bouba’s skills and passion grew quickly and soon he was also a member of the renowned Foret Sacre Ballet. In 1997 Bouba ventured to Europe and then onto Japan where he established himself as a leading African percussionists. With an energy and peace of mind that resonates from deep within – Bouba speaks a thousand words with his drum.

Brianna Slattery


After 10 years of playing the piano, Brianna bought her first djembe at the age of 18 – and promptly fell in love with African drumming! This sparked an interest in all things percussive, which in turn led her to participate in African drumming, Brazilian percussion and body percussion workshops; become a facilitator of a drumming intervention/wellbeing program; and complete the L1, L2, & L3 facilitator training with African Drumming. As a primary school teacher, Brianna has been teaching drumming to school students for the past seven years. She is passionate about the use of the drum as a teaching tool, and is currently completing a Masters thesis on drumming and student engagement. Brianna believes that being a member of a drumming community has far reaching-benefits, including: enhancing musicality, building relationships, boosting confidence and improving general well being.