Curtis Andrews is a Canadian-based musician with global persuasions. A percussionist/composer/teacher who creates music that is informed by his many years of experience with West African, South Indian and jazz traditions yet transcends categorization.
As a performer/collaborator, he has toured and recorded nationally and internationally with dozens of artists from across Canada in a myriad of styles, on drumset, mridangam, mbira, and percussion. His debut album The Offering of Curtis Andrews (2008) was an award-winning effort and his music has been described as “engaging, uplifting and warmly human” (Exclaim! Magazine), “a rich multicultural buffet” (The Wholenote), and “an eclectic, jazzy and rich international music palette” (Percussive Notes). In April 2021 he will release his sophomore album, entitled Speaking Hands.
Raised in the coastal town of Carbonear, Newfoundland (now based in Vancouver, Canada), Andrews taught himself to play the drumset as a young teenager after being inspired by recordings of Max Roach, late 80’s/early 90’s hip-hop and heavy metal. His musical journeys over the past 20+ years have extended to villages and metropolises of Ghana, India, South Africa, Benin, and Zimbabwe, and he has developed a deep knowledge of the history, culture and performance of music from these areas. His personal mentors have included (the late) Don Wherry (1997-2001), Sri Trichy Sankaran (1999-present) and Frederick Kwasi Dunyo (1998-present); he continues to perform and study with these masters whenever possible. Parallel to his independent studies, Andrews also holds PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of British Columbia and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2022), focusing on the issues surrounding the oral transmission of culture in rural Ghana.
A leader in his field, Curtis is the founder and artistic director of two West African drum and dance ensembles and in 2013 founded Time Will Tell Arts, a non-profit performing arts society dedicated to promoting multicultural artistic expression from traditional, neo-traditional and original sources. Beyond the artistic realm, he founded the Dzogadze Education Development Foundation, dedicated to the development of community of Dzogadze (Ghana), where a school was built and named in his honor.
MusicNL Male Artist of the Year 2009
MusicNL Instrumental Album of the Year 2009
Atlantis Music Prize 2009
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"Engaging, uplifting and warmly human."
"a rich multi-cultural banquet"
"Andrews delivers an eclectic, jazzy and rich international musical palette"
Willing to teach
Beginner to advanced
I have been teaching since 1998 in various capacities.
Beginner to advanced.
Drumset styles of all styles and levels.
Hand drumming of various traditions, especially that of Ghana.
South Indian drumming and rhythmic theory. This can be taught on any instrument or with the voice alone through the
spoken syllables known as solkattu.
Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano)
I'm very flexible with times and rates.
Feel free to contact me if you are in the Vancouver area.