Frank Lazzaro: Drums, Percussion | Scott McDowell: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | Bill Meinerding: Drums, Percussion | Anthony Sarain: Flute, Saxophone | Jack Lampl: Drums, Percussion | Andy Villas-Boas: Bass guitar, Vocals

Genre: Reggae & Ska, World

Sound description: World Beat, African drumming, Jammin' to the beat, eight miles high --- "more cowbell!"

RIYL: Mickey Hart, Travel Agents, Middle-Earth Ensemble, Santana

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Inception: Encinitas, 1999

Current Status: Playing around town.

Influences: Mickey Hart, Diga Rhythm Band, Olatunji, Mamady Keita, Bob Marley, Santana


Damaru is a world beat music group that incorporates African and middle-eastern rhythms into an energetic and danceable groove. With the addition of bass, sax, flute, guitar, and vocals, Damaru has created a sound that is unique.

While based on traditional drumming traditions, the music transcends boundaries of ancient and modern, for a cross cultural world fusion. Damaru performs throughout the southern California area, and has a self-titled CD available.

"The damaru is a two-sided percussion instrument that is shaken with two balls striking the membranes, as part of spiritual practices in Tibet, India, and Nepal," says Damaru drummer Frank Lazzaro. "The most powerful damarus are created from human skulls, as described in Mickey Hart's book Drumming at the Edge of Magic. These drums are known to have mystical powers and can wreak havoc if placed in the wrong hands. In Hindu philosophy, the damaru is the drum held by Shiva through which the universe was created. The damaru symbolizes the mystery of manifestation and the evolution of the cosmos."

Lazzaro also drums with the Middle-Earth Ensemble and psychedelic jam band the Travel Agents. Damaru performs on the first Thursday of each month at Claire de Lune in North Park.


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