Monette Marino is an accomplished percussionist, well-versed in several drumming traditions from around the world, including those of West Africa (Guinea and Mali), Cuba, Brazil, and Korea. She has studied with a multitude of revered master teachers, including Malian drummer Yaya Diallo, Korean drummer Kim Duk Soo, and particularly Guinean Master drummer Mamady Keïta.
Monette has performed globally for decades with elite folkloric drum and dance ensembles, including Mamady Keïta’s Sewa Kan, Sabougnouma GPS, Les Amazones, Omo Aché, Afrekete, Zinco, and Sol e Mar. Additionally, she has performed in the popular music arena with many notable local musicians as well as international stars. Appearing on American Idol and The Voice, she has played everything from jazz to salsa, samba, reggae, funk, disco, soul, R&B, rock, and even country music.
Monette continues to explore many drumming traditions and disciplines from around the world. She has a deep respect for the cultural heritage preserved and passed on through the language of the drum.
In addition to her robust performance career, Monette is a sought-after teacher. In 1995 she founded Baraka International Arts, since renamed the MO’RHYTHM School of Percussion. A non-profit organization, the school fosters participation in traditional West African drumming and dance, and seeks to preserve and transmit the Mandingue musical tradition, as a way of promoting tolerance, understanding, equality, and international peace.
Monette has extensive experience teaching West African djembe drumming in both private and group lessons to students young and old. In her World Music in the Schools drumming classes, students are inspired to take risks and express themselves. A patient and amiable instructor, Monette is passionate about bringing people together through music and seeing them smile.