Eric Hartwell received his BFA and MFA in World Music Performance from California Institute of the Arts. His Masters Thesis researched and compared social and cult music of the Eve societies, in particular the Afa and Yeve people. His emphasis on West African music and culture (Ewe, Ashanti, Ga, Dagomaba) lead to his study abroad in 1999 where he spent 3 months in Ghana under the tutelage of Ghanian Tribal Elders. Eric has studied under such world renowned musicians as Kobla Ladzekpo, Alfred Ladzekpo, Beatrice Lawluvi, Shrinivasen, Nyoman Wenton, and John Bergamo. Eric’s expertise in other forms include Balinese drumming (Kebyar Gamelan), Latin drumming (congas, bongos, timbales percussion), and Frame drumming (Egyptian and Indian rhythms).
Eric has taught for many nonprofit organizations and after school programs, such as Inner-City Arts, Plaza de La Raza, Hillcrest Academy, Agua Dolce Elementary, and Helmers Elementary. He has held workshops on African drumming and instrument building as well as performing as an accompanist for college level African dance classes. Eric is currently the director of the middle school music program at Pegasus, one of the premier private schools in Southern California.