At the age of nine Jacquee became fascinated with her sister Karen's rubber drum pad. When Jacquee was in junior high, she asked the band director if she could play drums. He said, “ Girls don't play drums." At 36, when she was diagnosed with cancer the healing power of the drum returned to her. One day, she heard the sound of a tribe of women playing djembes inside a Michigan forest and her heart leapt. It was as if she had suddenly been reunited with long lost relatives she deeply loved. As she began her study of the drum, she had many experiences of healing. (Science can explain why.) Jacquee's gift is understanding how to work with the powerful "sound medicine" of the drum in somatic healing as well as its spiritual and socio-cultural significance for transformation. As Jacquee’s path with the drum evolved, her work expanded into roles of teacher, sound healer, and recording and performing artist with bands such as: Gazelle, New Tribe, Suggesting Scarlett, Kennedy's Kitchen, Mary of the Kine, Soltre, Monte Michel Bleu, Michael Thornton Band and Sacred Waters Kirtan and currently plays with Darshan, an Indian sitar based duo.
Over the years, Jacquee’s personal creative achievements have been interdisciplinary, strengthening her ability to integrate many creative modalities in her teaching. She is an award-winning visual artist, published poet, former social worker and pastoral minister, holding a Master's in Religious Studies from Drake University and a Master of Divinity degree from Notre Dame where she studied Christian mysticism. Jacquee has had a lifelong commitment to intercultural and inter-religious education and spent many years learning, working, and serving diverse ethnic and spiritual communities. She loves to teach and share the integration of this work with her love of the drum to help others transform and awaken into their creative and embodied spirits.
Teachers and Certificates
When choosing a teacher, it is helpful to know about their training and who they have studied with and the lineage they carry. Jacquee is a passionate student as well as teacher and shares her ongoing commitment to study with her students. Because the djembe has historically been passed on through oral tradition, she deeply honors the direct cultural, spiritual and musical opportunities she has had with traditional teachers for the last 30 years. Her teachers and mentors have come from the African countries of Guinea, Burkino Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria and Uganda. Among those she has worked with are: Grandmaster Mamady Keita, M’bemba Bangoura, Moussa Bolokada Conde, Babara Bangoura, Mangue Sylla, Moussa Traore, Fode Camara, Dr. Djo Bi, Dramane Kone, Michael Markus, Michael Taylor, Abass Camara, Mylla Sylla, and Ubaka Hill. Jacquee studies at the Chicago TTMDA and holds Djembe certification from the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy, founded by internationally acclaimed djembefola, Mamady Keita from Guinea, West Africa. Jacquee is also a certified facilitator with HealthRHYTHMS™, a groundbreaking evidence based neuroscience and whole body drumming and wellness protocol.
Jacquee has studied the tar, riq and bodhran frame drum with Layne Redmond, Glen Velez, Judy Piazza, and Yosif Sheronick. Jacquee has apprenticed and worked with the Native American Black Eagle drummers, drum keepers and teachers of the Ojibway, Cherokee and Navajo traditions, and Ecuadoran and Jewish shamans.