Mentors and Friends

1 Kim, Mamady Keita Matanga Festival 1994 Santa CruzKim and master drummer Mamady Keita (from Guinea), after the 1994 Matanga Festival in Santa Cruz, CA. This event capped an entire week of beginning, intermediate, advanced, and professional level djembe classes, with this master teacher. I am honored that I was asked to perform and play a short solo at this seminal event, introducing Mamady to the West Coast. Also performing were legendary drummers Mabiba Baegane, Fred Simpson, and Paulo Mattoli.


Having fun at the Great Northwest Community Drum Circle with Christine Stevens and friends. Christine is playing surdo (Brazilian bass drum) and I’m playing a high pitched Brazilian tamborim.  Over 3 50 people were playing in this event, conducted by Arthur Hull, as part of the Seattle World Percussion Festival, where I have performed presented my work for many years.

Harper, Piper, Drummer, Bard, friend and all around great musician and teacher the late Chris Caswell. Chris and I did many projects, including Rumi’s Caravan and my epic Mardi Gras parties at the PowerHouse in Sebastopol where I had him play bagpipes in the middle of my Samba show.

35 Bobby Vega, Karl Perazo, Val Serrant, Kim, Brent Zeller, Sikiru Adepoju, Arthur Hull

Playing with the Masters at Baba Olatunji’s memorial at the Marin Center. Left to right: legendary bassist Bobby Vega, Santana percussionist Karl Perazo, Caribbean drum song master Val Serrant, Kim, Brent Zeller, Nigerian talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju, Drum Circle icon Arthur Hull.

40 earthdace Meeting

Meeting before the show with the Drums for Peace crew at Earth Dance 2004. I was honored to co facilitate with these master musicians at the Guiness World Record setting event. Left to right: Airto, Micky Hart, Kim, Jorge Bermudez, Karl Perazo, Greg Ellis, Sikiru Adepoju. Chalo Eduardo. With Back to camera: Zakir Hussain, Howard Cohen.

46 Zakir Hussain, Kim

Zakir Hussain and Kim at the Earth Dance Drums for Peace Event 2004. 4,374 people registered with Guiness to create this record event. There were over 5000 people playing together.

50 Earthdance kim Airto

Airto and Kim, after the Drums for Peace circle at Earth Dance. Airto has been a huge influence on me as the multi percussionist who played with Miles Davis and many others.

60 Pello el Afrokan

Pello el Afrokan with Kim in Havana Cuba, 1985. Pello is creator of the Carnaval Rhythm “Mozambique”. On our trip to Cuba, we met him by chance, and he became our host, teacher and friend for our time there.

70 George Terzis

Jamming with my friend George Terzis, at Johnny Otis’s club in Sebastopol, mid 1990’s

80 Rafael, Karamba Dibate, Kim

Performance of West African music and dance at Kosmos Camp, with Rafael, Karamba Dibate and Kim

95 Leon Mobly, Kim TalkingDrum Seatle World Percussion Festival

West Coast icon and drummer extraordinaire Leon Mobly gives me a solo moment on the talking drum at the Seattle World Percussion festival.

Cameron Tummel

Ecstatic playing with Cameron Tummel at the Seattle World Percussion Festival Drum Circle. The Brazilian tamborim that I’m playing is a very powerful instrument and can be heard over hundreds of hand and bass drums.

Kim With Zero

On stage with Zero in Sebastopol in a Benefit for the Seva Foundation. Left to right: Pete Sears, Steve Kimock, Greg Anton, Judge Murphy, Lauren Murphy, Mike Sugar, Banana, Kim. Many of these players are Rock and Roll Legends. It was exciting to play with them and I had the best sound on stage that I’ve ever had! Photo courtesy of John Werner.

Master Ballaphone Mohamad Kouate, Kim Atkinson

Kim playing dun duns and talking drum, accompanying Master Guinean musician Mohammed Kouyate on Bala, traditional marimba of the Malinke.

Oseynu Kouate

Griot, master dancer/singer Ousseynou Kouyate of Senegal, honoring the birthday girl at her party at Safari West in Santa Rosa CA. Drumming genius Ben Issacs on the tama talking drum, Kim on dun duns. We brought and entire truck load to djembes to that gig, and I conducted a drum circle with all the guests and friends.

105 Nika Kim 1st Health and Harmony Festival copy 2

Kim and advanced students drumming at the first Harmony Festival 1977 at Sonoma State University. L to R David Penalosa – congas, unknown person jamming, Bodhi Setchko sitting in on guiro, unknown person jamming, Nica Julie Stewart – maracas, Sunsong Susan Clark – cowbell, Lane Ludwig- guiro, Kim – timbales.

Kim jamming on Brazilian pandeiro with Allesandra Belloni of Rome Italy. Allesandra is a master of the Italian Tamburello and its related songs and dances including the Tarantella, and is an artist in residence at the Cathedral of St John the Devine in New York City. Alesandra is a natural trance medium and she and I both have a deep connection with Brazilian culture. In the right hand photo, she had danced herself into a trance. As I followed her energy in that moment, the skin on the drum I was playing broke! Later she told me of the visions she had and how they later came to be in a trip to Brazil.

11 endsamba

Kim with Escola Nova de Samba, mid 1980’s.  Standing left to right: Steve Fogel, Jose Saucedo, Marcus Gordon, Jesse Adams,  Walter Makins, Chalo Eduardo (director), Dennis Broughton, Mario Abruzo, Al Guzman, Laura Yanow, Michael Spiro. Front Row: Carlos Aceituno, Eddie Soleta, Kim.  Each person here is a major artist and have led their own bands and projects. Marcus was the premier teacher and performer of Afro Caribbean music in the Bay Area for many years. Carlos went on to form the East Bay’s Fogo na Ropa, Eddie plays bass and percussion with many groups, Dennis is the co-producer of  California Brazil Camp for close to 20 years, Michael Spiro is a legendary percussionist and teacher of Afro Cuban and Brazilian music. I am honored to have played with these fine musicians.

10 Carlos Embale, Gerry Shilig, Pello el Afrokan, Mike Pluznick, Kim, Unnanmed Relative

Kim in Havana, Cuba 1985 at the home of our teacher, friend and guide Pello el Afrokan, creator of the Carnaval music and dance Mozambique.  Standing, left to right: world famous Rumbero Carlos Embale, Gerry Shilgi, Pello, Kim. Sitting in front of Kim – Mike Pluznick, far right- unknown relative of Pello’s.

20 DuncanKimSanyTony

Kim playing and conducting Samba Lumina in the 1990’s at one of our epic Mardi Gras shows at the Powerhouse in Sebastopol CA. Notice the Haitian Sequin Paintings on the wall behind us. The Powerhouse (now the Hop Monk) was the first venue in Sebastopol to offer world class entertainment, the owners brought amazing talent from New Orleans on a regular basis. We created a Carnaval extravaganza there for 10 years in row, from the mid 1990’s.  Left to right: Duncan Draper, Kim, not visible behind bubble light: Nancy Rosenthal, Sandy Feldhorn, Tony D’Anna.

25 Karamba Dibate, Kim

Kim playing dun duns with Karamaba Diabate at Kosmos camp. Karamba is an amazing musician and good friend. I am honored to appear in Karamba’s instructional video for djembe and dun dun. In this picture he has money pasted on his forehead – someone from the audience came forward and put it there, as is the custom when people are moved by a musician’s performance.

30 Gabe Harris, Malonga Casquelorde, Kim, Arthur Hull

Kim playing djembe at Baba Olatunji’s Memorial at the Marin Center, San Rafael CA.  Left to Right: World Percussionist Gabe Harris, Congolese master dancer- drummer-singer Malonga Casquelourd, Kim, Drum Circle icon Arthur Hull waving his hat, in response to my solo. I studied with Malonga and played for his dance classes for 10 years and was one of the original promotors of Congolese music and dance throughout CA. This was the last time I saw Malonga, he was tragicaly killed in an auto accident shortly after this event. The Malonga Center in Oakland CA is named after him.

45 Earthdance KimKim playing with Micky Hart and friends at EarthDance 2004 Drums for Peace. Left to Right: Chalo Eduardo (facing away), Zakir Hussian with mallet, Jorge Bermudez on ashiko, unknown person (facing away), Santana’s timbaleiro Karl Perazo on frame drum, directly behind Karl – Micky Hart, Kim with sticks, shaker and snare, toward the back: legendary Brazilian percussionist Airto, at the right:  good friend and Bay Area multi-instrumentalisit Hadly Louden, who I invited up at the last minute when Micky asked for more bass drums.

49 Micky Hart, Karl, Kim,An exciting moment at the Drums for Peace Event 2004.  Micky Hart with wireless mic and mallet, Karl Perazo soloing, Kim with snare drum.

55 earthdance after

The Drums for Peace Crew: left to right: Emam, Chalo Eduardo, Airto, Jorge Bermudez, Zakir Hussain, Micky Hart, Kim, Sikru Adepoju, Greg Ellis, Karl Perazzo.

65 HariPaul, Kim - Seatle World Percussion FestivalKim playing bongos with tabla drummer Hari Paul at the Seattle World Percussion Festival

75 Qi Gong Master Constantine Darling at IONSEmbody Rhythm !  Kim and Chi Gong master, dancer, outdoors man and facilitator par excellence Constantine Darling, working with a group of people on retreat at IONs in Petaluma. Here I’m demonstrating a drum stroke to the chest which is one of the basic sounds of Body Percussion. I did many events with Constantine including two trips to Havasupi in the Grand Canyon where I was the rhythm facilitator and percussionist for sound journeys, including one with the Natives.

90 Tor DietrichsonKim playing frame drum, accompanying long time friend Tor Dietrichson on tabla drums. Tabla are perhaps the most challenging drums in the world, and Tor has spent years mastering them.  He and I have played on several records together and toured with Steve Kindler and Teja Bell.  My role in this performance was to hold the groove as Tor explored and developed more and more elaborate counter rhythms. Tor is also an amazing blues singer and conga player based in Seattle WA.

100 Abdoulaye Diakite, Malango Bayo, CroppedKim playing talking drum with master African musicians, at Tambacounda camp in Cazadero CA in the mid 1990’s. On the left, playing dun duns is my first djembe teacher Abodoulaye Diakite, directly in front of me is Malang Bayo.  The instrument with the long neck is the 21 string kora of the Manding speaking people of West Africa.

Kim Atkinson, Pepe Danza, Navarro FrancoAt the Seattle World Percussion Festival, one year I was asked to facilitate a massive Carnaval Music Roundabout with several bands, one in each corner of a pavilion. Each group would play for a few minutes and I would cue up the next group and try and have the switch from one group to another be seamless.  Here I am with director David Chaus on conga, Pepe Danza on djembe, and Navarro Franco on shekere, with other musicians from the Seattle Samba community.

Kim, Lilron, RaqueyMore of the Carnaval Extravaganza at the Seattle World Percussion Festival. I’m describing my idea as to how to make a smooth transition to Liron Peled and Raquey Danziger, master dumbec players who form the band Raquey and the Caveman. The idea worked and people were breakdancing to their elaborate 9 -4 rhythm!

Noah, David, Cary, Kim-Mozambique-2

A moment from the video Mozambique! Vol 2. Good friends and long time musicians Noah Mosgofian – conga, David Penalosa –  timbales, Cary Griffin clave block, Kim – conga. In this photo we are working out on NY style Mozambique, California style.

101 Carnival Spirit Music Sebastopol

Carnaval Sprit Dance company at Studio E Sebastopol, 2000. Back row: Sandy, Michael, Cary, Kim, Nancy, Phyllis.  Middle row: …..  Deneen, Kelly,  Lilly. Front row: David, Mabel, Devi-Ja. The costume color scheme was Devi-Ja’s idea and I think one of our best.