InSpira Centric African Dance Drummer
As the founder and director of Marshall Hand & Drum Ensemble, a multi-percussion instrumental group, MHD brings the musical African Diaspora drumming aspects to life. Victor Marshall’s introduction to West African percussion began at the age of sixteen. He studied West African drumming and culture under Steven Lloyd in Long Island, New York. Marshall also played drums and percussion in local groups throughout high school.
Marshall later met Jose Rendon who taught him Afro Cuban drumming. At twenty, he went on tour with M.C.A artist Gary Toms . Victor continued his musical study at SUNY-Old Westbury with master percussionists Warren Smith and the late Andre Strobert . In 1980, Marshall formed the Jazz Fusion group Febop with his wife Cay Fatima and had the opportunity to open for jazz greats such as Grover Washington Jr. and Herbie Mann. Victor went back to study West African drumming under Master drummers YaYa Diallo , Mimo Camara and Abdou Kounta to broaden his musical experiences and technique.
Mr. Marshall taught West African drumming at Middlesex College for six years in their continuing education program as well as two years at Rutgers’ continuing education and recreational program.. He has also taught workshops at the American Repertory Ballet Company as well as numerous middle schools and colleges in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Marshall is pursing the study of the balafon, a Malinke (a West African ethnic group) instrument that is the original xylophone through a New Jersey State Council of the Arts Folk Arts grant.
A 2011 mini tour of the musical/interactive play “Sunjata Kamalenya” with the City of Princeton, New Jersey’s McCarter Theater educational performance group took him throughout the tri-state. In between touring and studio work, Victor was a resident percussionist for NJPAC as well as a master teacher for a weekly class he runs at the Neighborhood House, Plainfield, NJ. As a performer, teacher and lecturer Marshall enjoys participating in many unique creative cultural experiences such as the Murray Grove Retreat Center’s Drum and Dance Retreat, sponsored by the Unitarian/Universalist Church.
In addition to his solo career as a percussionist, Victor Marshall is the musical director of Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble. Iwa L’ewa is a New Jersey based group that explores dance, music and the story of Africa and the Caribbean.
“My journey with drumming has taken me through all types of situations. I try not to limit my comfort zone, be it as a performer or teacher. I just like sharing!”
- Vic Marshall