Elizabeth Sayre

Artist Bio

Elizabeth Sayre is a musician and independent scholar in Oakland, California.  She has played, researched, documented, taught, and written about Afro-Cuban batá drumming and other folk and traditional arts since the mid-1990s.  She has served as musical director for Arenas Dance Company, directed by master dancer-choreographer Susana Arenas Pedroso, in the Bay Area, California, since 2012.  She holds dual bachelor’s degrees from MIT, a master’s from Duke University, and completed graduate coursework and research in ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University.  Elizabeth has authored articles and co-authored a book chapter on folk and traditional music and arts; some of her writings (1997-2009) appear in the Philadelphia Folklore Project’s magazine, Works in Progress: www.folkloreproject.org/wip/issues.  In addition to Cuban percussion, Elizabeth plays Brazilian percussion, and performed with Philadelphia-based dance band Alô Brasil from 2001 to 2012.

Artistic Highlights

SF Ethnic Dance Festival 2018, Arenas Dance Company (tumbadora & musical director)

Oya Ashkenaz 2018, Arenas Dance Company
(Iyá & musical director)

Guerreros Ashkenaz 2018 (edited)
(Iyá & musical director)

Susana DM class ad 2015

Demo at Berkeley Library 2016

Elizabeth, Pablo, Ron at LP Studios 2012

Arenas Dance Company at Salsa Rueda Festival 2013

Arenas Dance Company, Cuba Caribe Festival 2013

Okan Iloro - Drum and Song for the Orishas
CD Recording on YouTube