Master Drummer


In addition to being an incredible Actor, Gerald is also a Master Drummer and Djembe player.  He teaches basic and advanced rhythms both traditional and contemporary, including techniques like bass, tone and slap sounds.  He enjoys educating his students on the ancient history of the instrument and it’s healing power.  He frequently teaches and leads drum circle performances for children, high school students and adults.  He enjoys seeing his students transform themselves and their lives through this incredibly powerful instrument.  His most recent performance was for a spec Budweiser commercial where he is a featured African drummer.  He currently leads drum circles all over the US.





Traditional West African Djembe Drumming Classes are held Monday evenings 7pm @ the La Crescenta Center For Spiritual Living: 

4845 Dunsmore Ave, La Crescenta, CA 91214

* Learn the rhythms that will allow you to play in drum circles anywhere, anytime

* Learn the correct way to play this powerful, sacred instrument

* Introduction to the history of the instrument and its healing power

* Includes drum circle graduation, be welcomed into the drumming community

For more information & to register, callKiara @ 661-542-1330



Gerald & his drumming students were invited to perform at The Mayme Clayton Library in Culver City, CA


Gerald teaches a community drumming workshop at

The Mayme Clayton Library in Culver City, CA


June 2012 Gerald and his Drumming students were invited to perform downtown for

"The Great Paper Yacht Challenge Race"



Gerald performs in his one man show "What Do You Dream Of?"



Article on Gerald's African Djembe Drum Class in the Glendale News Press

"Bass needs, and then some"

Students learn the multifaceted nature of the West African djembe drum.

April 25, 2011 | By Kelly Corrigan

Students, Samantha Rosen, Jan Kline, Victoria da Salla, Rev. Emma Ynequez,

and Kelly Corrigan join hands in a drum circle to start Gerald C. Rivers'

African Djembe class - "Heartbeat of the Drum". (Photo By: Amy Opoka)

In the community room of Que Tu Linda Boutique and Body ’N Soul Studio in La Crescenta, students took a seat in a circle, wrapped their legs around djembe drums and prepared to play.

Students of actor and motivational speaker Gerald C. Rivers make a lot more than noise when beating their djembe drums. During the six-week class in the community room of Que Tu Linda Boutique and Body ’N Soul Studio in La Crescenta, students leave with more than experience with just the West African drum, he said.

“I’ve watched individuals and people, collectively, be lifted up after playing,” he said. “Their breakthroughs on the drum are often in conjunction with their own liberation from some other area in their life.”

Djembe (pronounced jem-bay) is typically made of hardwood and goat skin and capable of producing far-reaching sounds, from bass to high notes and snare, “and lots of things in between,” Rivers said. One drum can do what two congas or a full drum kit can do," he added. Rivers started playing the djembe 22 years ago, when he was 23. “In my opinion, it’s a very healing instrument.”

He hopes students feel liberated as they play — confident enough in their rhythms to join drum circles at Venice Beach or Griffith Park if they wish. Students also gain historical and cultural knowledge, he said. At the start of class, Rivers directed new students to the visible creases in the center of the drum, which represents the spine of the animal sacrificed for the drummer to make music.

“What we teach and encourage is for you to have that spine in alignment with your own spine as you play,” Rivers said. While there are rules to playing the drum and tones to achieve, the instrument welcomes an improvisational style. Rivers reiterated that listening is the most important quality of a drummer, and that the more liberated someone is when they play, a visible change occurs. “Something happens,” he said.

Pointing to a student of his — the Rev. Emma Molina-Ynequez — Rivers said, “You literally see her spirit and her energy raise, and she plays so regally.”

When Molina-Ynequez was warned by a doctor that her blood pressure was higher than it should be, she looked outside of typical ways to treat it. She examined activities in her life that made her heart sing, she said, but without the pressure of walking or dancing. She selected the drum class as a new venture because the beat of the drum symbolizes the human heartbeat, she said. “Something about that resonated in me,” she said. “What I’ve learned to do is listen intensely. It’s added to my business. When I massage people, I listen with my eyes closed.” 



8 sessions

Call (661) 542-1330 for further information and to register

* Take your Djembe Drumming to the next level.

* Explore Improv Techniques

* Creative Expression

* Holding the Beat

* Use of the drum as a healing instrument



"In the spirit of trying something new and different, I decided to take a six week drum class with Gerald after seeing a flyer.  Though it felt very much outside of my comfort zone, Gerald made the whole experience wonderful!  His respect for the djembe and drumming together as a spiritual practice was and is uplifting and infectious.  He was patient, kind and giving of himself and his time.  Not only did I complete the classes, along with a lovely graduation, but I have continued to play and have acquired my own djembe with, of course, advice from Gerald.  Thank you for everything Gerald!"

- Cindy Morales

"Gerald is truly a master life artist and teacher. In his class you learn so much more than what rhythms to play on a drum. You learn to listen to the beat of your own heart and follow the rhythm of your Soul's becoming. He's extraordinary. Take his class."

- Mary T. Sala

 "Taking this class with Gerald Rivers was so much more than learning to play the djembe.  There is a teaching, a love and a presence within Gerald that permeates the circle as we playfully learned the history and rhythms of this instrument.  Taking his class was a lesson in deep listening and cultivating the ability to drop into the Divine flow of Spirit that resides within me.  I have met so many new and wonderful friends while taking this class and drumming is now a part of my Spiritual practice." 

- Rumi Noon

 "I had a wonderful time being a student of Gerald, the class was amazing and I really wish that it never finished!"

- Cristal Guizar (Fremont High School Student)



 Teaching students at Ocean Charter School in Santa Monica




Students at John C. Fremont High School, Los Angeles  

Students Rev. Emma, Janet Grace & Delores Gilbreaux at graduation


Gerald, Mary Sala, Sunday, John, Janet Grace, Rev. Emma & Delores


Summer 2010 Drum Class Graduates

Drum Circle