Mary Ellen Donald - Middle Eastern Musician and Teacher
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Mary Ellen

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Performances & Classes

Percussion Classes  / Performances / Booking / Events / Workshops

Events & Workshops

Mary Ellen's Jazz Birthday Bash Concert
Saturday Afternoon, August 19th in Berkeley
Mary Ellen Donald: Jazz vocals and Middle Eastern Percussion

Marco Casasola: musical director, keyboards
Geechi Taylor: trumpet
Fil Lorenz: saxophones
Kelyn Crapp: guitar
Ryan Lukas: electric and acoustic bass
Genius Wesley: drum kit
Guest Vocalists: Yolandra Rhodes and Laurie Winestock
Belly Dancer: Camellia

Location: Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar at Bonita, Berkeley, CA 94709
(for directions visit, leave extra time for parking)
Note: disregard the 2 hour parking signs. They are not in effect
on Saturday but the meters are.

Time: 2:00 to 5:15pm (doors open at 1:30pm)

Tickets: $35.00 in advance, $40.00 at the door, children under 16, $15.00
(Price includes a full variety of beverages and refreshments, including Mary Ellen’s cardamom cakes.)

To order tickets, visit

For more details, call Mary Ellen at (510) 654-3786.
To learn about Mary Ellen and her music visit
Note: Photos available on Mary Ellen’s Facebook page.

Click here for flyer

New Beginner Doumbec Class in Oakland
Starting in October 2016
presented by Mary Ellen Donald, nationally acclaimed author, instructor and performer in Middle Eastern Percussion for over 35 years.

Time: 7:30PM to 9:00PM every other Wednesday
Location: close to West Oakland BART station and five minutes off of 880 freeway, with ample parking.
Fee: $20.00 per class paid at the first class of the month.

Class size: 5 – 8 students
Required instructional materials, produced by Mary Ellen and available
for purchase at first class:

Doumbec Delight book : $20.00

Middle Eastern Rhythms for beginners contains two CD’s with five 
minutes each of 28 rhythms played on doumbec and tambourine by Mary
Ellen plus two booklets with musical notation for all the rhythms for
doumbec, tambourine and finger cymbals: $35.00

Sample pages of the book and sound bites from the CD’s can be found at

Note:  Drums will be available if you don’t already have one.

For more details and to secure your place in the class, call (510) 654-3786.

Make this your year to keep your promise to yourself to learn something new!

Hope to see you in class.

 Mary Ellen's Regular Monthly Performances

El Morocco Restaurant- Pleasant Hill
Second Sunday:
El Morocco Restaurant in Pleasant Hill
2203 Morello Ave.
Pleasant Hill, CA
(925) 671-0132
6:30 to 9:30pm

With Nader Shahin on oud and vocals playing wide variety of Arabic music with six to eight belly dancers. Fine Moroccan cuisine is served. Audience dance participation is encouraged. This is a hafla. Call (925) 671-0132.

Note: If you would like to be one of the dancers performing, call Jadeera, the producer at (510) 757-4735 or e-mail her at:

Rave Review for Mary Ellen's Birthday Bash
Sunday, August 12, 2007, Oakland, CA

Hello Mary Ellen,

WOW!   Your Birthday Bash at Humanist Hall was the most amazing musical feast EVER!  I do not want to forget to thank you ever so much for celebrating your birthday at Humanist Hall!

It was such a fantastic, spectacular, world class, music and dance phenomenon.  The music was so gorgeous.  Your medley, your song about summertime, was the best tribute to summer I've EVER heard.  It was so beautiful and haunting, it gave me goose bumps.  And the belly dancer was out of this world, pure liquid, pure magic.  Your music and song, and her dancing, were all so wonderfully creative and eclectic and captivating -- it was impossibly enjoyable -- hard to describe -- completely fulfilling!

Thank you again!  I have the deepest appreciation for your music!

~ Fellowship of Humanity


Sittat al Qalb (Women of the Heart)
Mary Ellen Donald: Cymbals, Doumbec, Tambourine and Tar &
Nanna Candelaria: Belly Dance
In an educational and entertaining drum and dance duo! Available for performances in schools K-12 through out the San Francisco Bay Area. Call Young Audiences of California at 415-974-5554 to learn how to book this uplifting presentation for schools in your area!


Hot Arabic Band For Hire!

Nazir Latouf, from Syria: oud and voice; Mary Ellen Donald: doumbec; and a first rate tambourinist, either Terry Holgate or Susie Goldenstein.

A perfect Arabic band for any occasion: private parties, belly dance recitals, world music concerts, Arab weddings and Arabic cultural events.

Nazir's extraordinarily rich repertoire spanning the entire Arab world, Mary Ellen's mastery of Arabic drumming and the charismatic, passionate playing of the two of them together make sparks fly and audiences beg for more.

Call Mary Ellen to hire the band that aims to please and does: 510-654-DRUM (3786) Check out sound bites from Nazir's CD "Arabian Passion", elsewhere on this site and video clips from "the Silk Road Experience" DVD also on this site to see for yourself.


Mary Ellen Donald is available for out of town workshops and shows.  For more information, call Mary Ellen at (510) 654-DRUM (3786) or send e-mail to:

Listen to a live performance of Nazir Latouf and Mary Ellen Donald.

To hear a song sample, click on Listen  

Ahla Tarik (The Sweetest Path) - Egyptian Melody Listen  Listen 
Oud Taqsim by Nazir Latouf Listen  Listen 
Allah Allah Ya Baba Listen  Listen 

© Copyright 2009 Mary Ellen Donald  - All Rights Reserved
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