Drummer, percussionist, teacher and author Todd Isler is based in New York City, where he has been active in the jazz and world music scenes for over 20 years. He plays with his band, International Orange, and numerous projects around New York City. He has released two original CDs, Two Step: Duets and Beyond, and his current Soul Drums, as well as his book “You Can Ta Ka Di Mi This”, published by Gerard and Sarzin, utilizing the South Indian syllable system to ground and expand one’s beat. Todd, along with the band Savane, won the Disc Makers Unsigned Band Contest. He was also a winner of the JAZZIZ Magazine Percussion On Fire contest. Todd has toured Africa through the Goethe Institute, and studied the South Indian Mrdangham with Ramnod V. Raghavan and Karaikudi R. Mani in India. Todd has also studied with Brazilian greats Portinho and Vanderlei, as well as teaching and extensive performances in Brazil.
In addition to his own releases Todd has played on hundreds of genre-crossing recordings and performed and/or recorded with a wide rang of artists including Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Steve Turre, Mike Gordon, Melvin Sparks, Bakithi Kumalo, Brian Blade, Ivan Neville, Badal Roy, Mark Murphy, Betty Buckley, Francis Mbappe, Dave Kikoski, Leo Kottke, Jack McDuff, David Krakauer, Al Kooper, Charlie Burnham, and others. He has performed with several dance companies throughout the United States, many of whose performances featured his original compositions. Todd endorses Sonor Drums and Bosphorus cymbals.
I enjoy helping the student be able to play the genre of music that moves THEM, and I work toward that objective. I have extensive experience in the genres of Jazz, Rock, Funk, R&B, Brazilian forms, African, and Indian music. My book, You Can Ta Ka Di Mi This, is especially helpful for all musicians to get comfortable in odd time signatures, and I have used these concepts in master classes at The Collective, NYU, San Francisco State, and Oberlin College, and most recently in Brasilia, Brazil for the CIVEBRA conference in '13.