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An American Vodou House


With James Armstrong, Master Tambor of Sosyete du Marche

fet Gede08My experience of working with James in ritual space has exceeded my  expectations. Where the Lwa came after many long hours of singing, They now descend within the first part of the night and remain as our honored guests, so long as the Tambor has his hands on the drums...” - Mambo  Vye Zo Komande La Menfo

Drums are the language of ritual. They give the night a heart beat, create community, call to the spirits and leave us in awe of their power to  entice. No one who hears a drum can be still. The drum takes you to  where the Spirits walk and there, you can enter into a dance with Them.  No one does this better than James Armstrong.

Begin your journey to the land of the Spirits with Master Tambor, James  Armstrong, and find your way to a place of ethereal beauty and power.  Below are the ways one can begin this journey in earnest:

drummer01LEARN : Basic conga styles and techniques:

  • Basic tones and orchestration
  • General drum rhythms and repertoire from the Caribbean
  • “ Chop builders”
  • Clave concepts and rhythmic perception

STUDY: The Music of Vodou

  • Ensemble rhythms of Haitian Vodou (rada, petro, kongo, ghede, etc)
  • Solo drumming styles

STUDY: The Music of Cuba and Santeria

  • Sacred ensemble styles
  • Bata drumming
  • Secular styles, including salsa, merengue, and rumba
  • * Song classes (Haitian, Cuban) are also offered

Private instruction AND group classes (of three or more) are available. Classes are held at the houmfor in Lansdale, PA. Other locations include Coatesville and Lancaster. School lectures and Master classes also availableJDArecital

Contact James Armstrong for more details and rates

James Armstrong is a specialist in Afro Caribbean and West African folkloric music. He has done extensive field research, performance and recording,  as well as teaching of this music throughout North America and abroad. Teachers include John Amira, Godwin Agbeli, Gideon Alorwoyie, Edward  Tekpa, Paschal Younge, Habib Idrissu, Fan Fan Dumas Louis and many others. Mr. Armstrong continues to study and perform traditional Afro-Haitian and Afro-Cuban music for dance classes and religious  ceremonies throughout the greater New York City and Philadelphia areas and is currently Master Tambor for Sosyete Du Marche in Lansdale, PA. He has also authored several articles on the subject of Afro Caribbean  music and is author of “ Vodou Drumset: Traditional Afro-Haitian Rhythms Applied to Drumset" (Carl Fischer Publications, 2002)

Mr. Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central  Michigan University and a Master of Music Performance (emphasis in jazz studies and ethnomusicology) from Bowling Green State University.
Company endorsements include Latin Percussion, Yamaha, Sabian, and Vic Firth.

For a more detailed biographical sketch, itinerary updates, photos and other information please visit:


Copyright 1995 - 2016.  Sosyete du Marche, Inc. is a Federally recognized 501c3 church, operating in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Your donations are tax deductible, and go towards supporting Sosyete du Marche, its mission to provide a safe haven for all worshippers, and to help those who need it most. To date, we have led medical missions to the Caribbean, supported Native Americans after Katrina and currently support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.