Tanya Porter

Instructor for the Spirit Drum Course

Tanya’s drum story began in 1986, at the Ontario College of Percussion, under the tutelage of Rod Fogerty and Paul Robson where she studied kit jazz, blues, salsa, rock and funk.

In 1990 she played reggae with Fight Them Back and funk with Primal Zoo. Tanya joined the world-beat improvisational ensemble The Subtonic Monks in 1992, touring and recording for a decade.

She has recorded as a freelance percussionist for numerous artists; Corky and the Juice Pigs, Lili Zohar, Magdeline, Rick Monaco, and Michael Holt to name a few, and in soundtracks for CBC’s the National & YTV’s Stuff. She has also composed and recorded soundscapes for many live theatre and dance productions.

Tanya has performed as a guest musician with Mr. Something Something, Kenny Kirkwood, The Spirit Drummers, Agoya and the Samba Squad. She has studied Afro-Cuban drumming with Ignacio Depineda, Hector Mon, Nicholas Hockin and in Cuba with Carlos Godinez of Cubanismo!, as well as West African drumming with Djibe Sane, Anna Melnikoff , Famoudou Konate and others.

Tanya was a member of traditional Malinke drum ensemble Bolokelen from 2000-2005, a member of the original West African band Ainike from 2007 – release of the recording Ainike in 2010, was a member of the original composing/recording quartet Drum Cultures and is a founding member of The River Pilots. 

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