Andy Algire is a percussionist, composer and educator specializing in African and jazz music.  He began playing at an early age and started his formal musical training in 1990 as a Percussion Performance Major at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, with an emphasis on drum set and jazz studies.  During this time, he participated in the recording of two CD projects, conducted a lab band and toured China while a member of the University’s Jazz Ensemble. From 1995 to 1997 Andy toured nationally with guitarist/singer/songwriter Billy McLaughlin.

Arriving in Connecticut in 1997, Andy continued to perform, record and study with Scott Hanna, percussionist, teacher, and founder of Rhythm Exchange World Music Ensemble. The group toured nationally in 1999, performing in schools, clubs and theaters and was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in February 2000.

In the spring of 2000 Andy moved to New York and began formal study with master balafonist Abou Sylla, from Guinea, West Africa.  For the past ten years, he has recorded and performed with Mr. Sylla regularly.  He has been a member of the New York based dance company Feraba-African Rhythm Tap since 2002 and performed in Guinea at the Franco-Guinean Cultural Center with this group in December of 2004.  He is a member of several New York based groups including the Mandingo Ambassadors, led by former Bembeya Jazz guitarist Mamady Kouyate.  Andy performs with Benyoro, Famoro Dioubate's Kakande, keyboardist/composer Azouhouni Adou and others.  He has performed with numerous acclaimed recording artists from West Africa, including Sekouba Bambino, Mory Djeli Kouyate, and Oumou Dioubate.

Andy has traveled to Guinea, Mali, Cuba and Europe to study and perform and looks forward to more journeys to West Africa.  He has received several composition grants from various New York arts foundations, and in 2007 was commissioned by Circuit Productions to create the program “Sound Bridges” with funding provided through the New York State Music Fund.  From 2000 to the present Andy has worked with Heather Cornell of Manhattan Tap as an accompanist and guest teacher at her annual intensive tap dance workshop.  He is a music instructor at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and leads two African music ensembles there.  He also holds workshops in African music in the New York area and throughout New England.  His first recording Crossfusion is a collection of compositions which focuses on the blending of traditional African music and jazz elements.

Subscribe to Andy's mailing list

* indicates required