Music as Vibrations, Bonding the Native American and West African Earth Traditions

Valerie Naranjo

Valerie Naranjo

Valerie Naranjo is the professor of West African percussion, song and dance at New York University’s Steinhardt School, and is a member of NYU’s “Global Institute of Advanced Studies” which helps professors to an improved international understanding. She has performed and taught as a guest artist internationally, including nine African countries and in such situations and locations as The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; The White House and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.; New York’s Lincoln Center, City Center and Carnegie Hall; London’s Royal Festival Hall; The Johannesburg Civic Theatre; The National Theater of Ghana.


Valerie has been the percussionist for the NBC Saturday Night Live Band for 26 years, performing with such artists as Paul Simon, Lady Gaga and Mick Jagger.


Valerie Dee Naranjo is a true “world musician”, having performed on six continents and having researched and facilitated artistic links between them during the past three and a half decades. Drum! magazine reader’s poll named Valerie “World Music Percussionist of the Year” 2005 and 2008 and “Mallet Player of the Year.” Naranjo received a B.A. in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma and her M.A. in Performance from Ithaca College.