Alan Hetherington is a Canadian drummer/percussionist who has traveled and studied widely in South America and the Caribbean. He has studied Cumbia in Colombia, the Joropo tradition (maracas) in Venezuela, Afro-Peruvian music in Peru, Cuban folkloric music in Havana, and specializes in the many musical styles of Brazil. He has performed with The Vancouver Symphony, The Toronto Symphony, The Canadian Opera Company, Nexus, Peter Erskine, John Wyre and World Drums, Glen Velez, Trichy Sankaran, and Celso Machado. He is a member of the Contemporary World-Jazz group, Vuja De, and Ravi Naimpally’s Indo-Jazz ensemble, Tasa. He has made many recordings for television and film and has toured with ensembles and as a solo artist throughout Europe, North and South America and Japan.
For the past 15 years Alan has spent Toronto winters in Brazil performing with Sombra e Agua Fresca, Denys Christian, Bell Brasil, Carlos do Cavaco and Filo Machado. He is also very much involved in the Brazilian Escola de Samba tradition, having performed with many of Brazil’s foremost Escola ensembles. Alan is the Founder and Director of Toronto’s own Escola de Samba de Toronto and has traveled throughout Canada, the United States and Japan teaching the tradition. The Escola de Samba de Toronto and Alan’s connections to Brazil are the subject of filmmaker Avi Lev’s recently released documentary, We Are Samba.
Alan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia where he studied with John Rudolph, and a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Toronto under Russell Hartenberger.