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drums & percussion

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The Drums & Percussion Track at the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival covers a broad range of technique and styles, from jazz or rock drumming to orchestral percussion. Javier Santiago, a highly-acclaimed drummer with an M.A. in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami, leads an ensemble that performs in multiple shows in various configurations.  It's an exciting introduction into the art of drumming!


“What kind of music will I play?"

Depending on your skill level, you'll participate in jazz, pop, or classical contexts. 

“How much practice/rehearsal is there?”

The Festival is not for the faint of heart - we have multiple shows to prepare! Each student is "cast" in at least two performances. We have mere days to get two shows prepped, polished and performed!

“How do you integrate drummers & percussionists into these shows?”

If you have advanced experience in drumming, we will place you in a band context with one-on-one supervision from Mr. Santiago. If you are just starting out in rhythm, your focus will be orchestral percussion and the rudiments of the instrument. Due to the nature of drumming/percussion, participants are asked to select a secondary instrument or craft to maximize their involvement in our live performances.

drumming faculty


Javier Santiago is a graduate of the University of Miami with a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy.  His unique style is a fusion of the diverse influences of his musical background, encompassing the traditional Latin music of his native Puerto Rico, as well as a thorough knowledge of jazz, classical and pop music.  In addition to his prowess as a drummer, Javier is an adept performer of the cajon, an instrument native to South America, applying traditional dance and flamenco rhythms in a modern day context.  Though many know Javier as drummer for the Annie Moses Band, hismusical journey began in 1982 studying percussion and theory at the Escuela Libre de Musica, a performing arts school, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.As a young boy, Javier, along with his brother, were serious about music, as were Manuel and Pepita Santiago, their devoted parents and biggest fans.  Soon he began performing with church groups and friends, and from 1987 to 1992 he set out on his first experiences as a touring musician, traveling across Central and South America, as well as Spain with the Latin Continental Singers and Orchestra.

Upon his high school graduation Javier continued his musical training at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, earning a Bachelors degree in Percussion Performance in 1993 with honors.  After graduation, he embarked on a year of heavy performing, producing, and teaching, but his desire for excellence brought him back to school, at the prestigious University of Miami, where he earned a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy.  With a master’s degree under his belt, Javier returned to Puerto Rico where he was became an instructor of percussion and drum set at the Interamerican University.

In 1999 he moved to Nashville and took to the road, touring with the group TRUTH across the U.S. and Canada.  Since then Javier has performed with: Ron Kenoly, 4HIM, Russ Taff, Wayne Watson, Nikki Leonti, LaRue, Marco Barrientos, Nestor Torres, Ronnie Freeman, Frank and Diane Marino, Edwin Cotto, OLEM and many others.

In the spring of 2003, Javier became the drummer for the Annie Moses Band.  Since that time he has traveled all over the U.S. and beyond recording in both studio and live projects, including the band’s top ten Billboard classical crossover album, This Glorious Christmas, as well as two PBS specials:  Christmas with the Annie Moses Band and Pilgrims and Prodigals, which have received over 1000 hours of air time. Since 2005 he has served as percussion director for the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy, as well as teaching drum and rhythm section clinics across the US.

In addition to his work with the Annie Moses Band, Javier continues to pursue other independent projects. In 2010 he launched the JJ Saint James Band, a contemporary jazz fusion ensemble. Their first album, Rhythm & Songs, was released in 2011.

Currently, Javier continues a busy touring, recording, and teaching schedule both in Nashville and Puerto Rico.

Javier Santiago is proud to endorse Innovative Percussion and Longo Custom Drums.