DARRYL MUNYUNGO JACKSON
Seasoned percussionist Darryl Munyungo Jackson possesses an ever-increasing collection of instruments with which to execute his craft. That is one of the reasons this warm & unassuming West Coast artist can be found in virtually any musical setting—whether it’s Funk, Pop, Jazz, Latin, Reggae, or traditional dance music of such countries as Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Haiti, Brazil & Cuba.
Despite his youthful appearance, Munyungo is no newcomer: in his over thirty years of playing, he has developed an awesome versatility & became a well-respected & much requested session, concert & tour player. He has performed with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Kenny Loggins, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, the Zawinul Syndicate, George Howard, Ronnie Laws, The Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, Bennie Maupin, Bill Summers, Marcus Miller, & dozens of others, including numerous ethnic music & dance troupes.
Munyungo’s passion for the timbales was only the beginning. From that point, he made the natural progression to Congas, Bongos, Latin Percussion & beyond, eventually to religious Bata Drumming & numerous drums & percussion from many different cultures.
Subsequently, he met & worked with traditional drummers from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, China & Japan resulting in a collection of over four hundred percussion instruments & drums from all over the world — all of which he plays proficiently.
Why that name? On several occasions, he performed with some players from Africa & the Caribbean, who would shout “Munyungo!” (Which is a Zulu word meaning “door” or “entrance”) to cheer him on as he played — and it wasn’t long before the word attached to him as a nickname.
Now, for him, the name means “Gateway to Heaven.”
Munyungo is deeply committed to understanding — & keeping alive — the tradition surrounding the instruments he plays. “It’s hard to study drums without studying the cultures from which they come,” he points out. This respectfulness seasons his playing with hearty passion & enjoyment.
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