John Scalici

Unity Through Rhythm

John Scalici is an award winning teaching artist, internationally recognized drumming facilitator, musician, and speaker. He’s been a touring, performing musician for over 25 years. Mr. Scalici lived and performed in the Blues capital of the world, Memphis, TN, where he played with many 1st generation bluesmen such as Pine Top Perkins, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Hubert Sumlin, and Mose Vinson. His band, Junkyardmen, released the highly acclaimed “Scrapheap Full of Blues”, which was nominated for a Grammy in 1999. Mr. Scalici’s love of blues prompted him to dig deeper into the origins of Blues, seeking out African music and rhythms. He has since studied with grand master djembe player, Mamady Keita and Fomadou Konate’, both from Guinea, West Africa. For the past 12 years his dynamic, hands on, interactive drumming experience has been featured at schools, communities and businesses all across the United States and Japan. His message is Unity Through Rhythm. In 2010, John was presented with the “Making a Difference” award by the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education.

Mr. Scalici’s program is interactive and provides a full sized djembe drum for every participant. Each participant will learn important skills necessary to produce the “language” of the djembe. Participants will be led through several rhythmic activities, warm ups, and games which will make learning to drum fun, empowering, and educational. Students will learn several drums parts, that when played together, create unity and harmony with everyone. Students leave the experience with a sense of accomplishment and a new respect for drums and each other.




With proper scheduling, the artist is available any day of the week and can offer the following: Single Workshop, Short term residencies (with performance component for schools assembly), and Professional Development workshops (team building, arts integration, leadership development)


  • BA in Communications—University of Alabama
  • Therapeudic Drumming Instructor Training, Youth Villages, Inc., 2010
  • Start with the Arts, TA training, Mobile, AL, 2006
  • Aesthetic education training, Lincoln Center Institute, NY, NY.
  • '97'97-0 Drum circle facilitation training, Village Music Circles™, Valencia, CA.
  • HealthRhythms® facilitator training, Los Angeles, CA. ‘02


Based in Birmingham (travel and lodging is negotiable)


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