Mary Ellen Donald - Middle Eastern Musician and Teacher
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Performances & Classes

Percussion Classes  / Performances / Booking / Events / Workshops

Events & Workshops

Middle Eastern Treasures Concert and Feast
Saturday Afternoon, February 24, 2018
Elks Lodge, Alameda

Presented by Mary Ellen Donald, nationally acclaimed author, instructor and performer in Middle Eastern Percussion for over 40 years. Featuring:

Musical ensemble with Younes el Makboul, violin and vocals; Bouchaib Abdelhadi, oud and vocals; Susu Pampanin, tabla; Amina Goodyear, riq; TerriAnne Gutierrez, duf

The Arabian Passion Band with Nazir Latouf, oud and vocals; Reda Darwish, tabla; Imad Mizyed, percussion, plus special guest artist to be announced joined by Mary Ellen Donald on doumbec

Exquisite Belly Dancers: Amberetta, Alma, Rebecca Vasile, Basinah and Zahara
Two large percussion ensembles

Audience dancing

Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at door ($10 children under 12) plus a potluck dish. A variety of beverage will be provided. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased at the bar.

Special Note: We have a long standing pot luck tradition at this event. Please bring something scrumptious to add to the feast.


Location: Elks Lodge 2255 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, 945011, 3rd floor. Free parking behind building. There is an elevator from the parking lot. Visit for directions.

Time: 1:30 PM potluck begins and continues throughout the event. 2:00 – 5:15 PM concert

Photos of our belly dancers can be seen at

For more details call 510-654-DRUM (3786)

Click here for flyer.

Amberetta Basinah

New Beginner Doumbec Class in Oakland
Starting in January 2018

presented by Mary Ellen Donald, nationally acclaimed author, instructor and performer in Middle Eastern Percussion for over 40 years.

Time: 7:30PM to 9:00PM every other Thursday Starting October 12
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.

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 

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