Andrew Acquista’s Lifelong Rhythmic Journey

Drumming for dance classes while a student at Humbolt State University inspired Andrew Acquista to pursue a lifelong journey into world music and percussion. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and a musician since the age of five, Andrew’s rhythmic journey has taken him from developing his skills on the distinctly American drum set to delving deeply into the percussion instruments of Africa, Brazil, Cuba, and the Caribbean. Nowadays, he shares his passion for performance and education with audiences and students all over Southern California.

While earning dual Bachelor of Music degrees in performance and education at Humboldt State, Andrew studied world music concepts with Dr. Eugene Novotney. Through him, Andrew met world-renowned griot and master drummer CK Ladzekpo. Ladzekpo’s lessons in the cornerstone concepts of African music captivated Andrew. Moreover, they provided him with the tools he would need to decipher any type of music in the coming years. Andrew went on to further his musical education with a masters degree in music performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Long Beach State.

In 2022, thanks to his longtime teacher and friend, West African master drummer Dramane Kone, Andrew was invited to perform live on stage at the LA Forum  with Latin rock supergroup Maná in four sold-out performances. He was also featured performing percussion and mbira for the soundtrack of the movie “Black Panther” in 2017.

In Andrew’s high-energy World Music in the Schools drumming classes, students learn the history and background of the music, and are inspired to come together as a community to play West African and Brazilian rhythms with their hearts and souls.