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Mr. Jim Donovan

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    Position: Director Arts in the Mountains Festival, Director World Drumming Ensemble, Instructor

    Department: Fine Arts

    Office: St. Joseph Hall 209

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    About Mr. Jim Donovan

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    At the University of Pittsburgh he earned his B.A. in Music Performance where he studied African Music with noted scholar Dr. Kwabena Nketia from Ghana and classical percussion performance with Dr. Ronald Horner.


    At Saint Francis University, Jim Donovan offers courses in World Music, African Music, Hand Drumming as well as performance oriented Fine Arts classes. He regularly offers workshops in music and wellness, as well as community building by utilizing the power of group drumming. He is the director and founder of the Saint Francis University World Drumming Ensemble, and the annual Arts in the Mountains: Music and Arts Festival. Since 2006, Donovan has been a member of the core faculty within the Study Abroad program where he regularly teaches SFU students in Parma, Italy. In 2010, he also helped to develop a Fine Arts oriented semester abroad program in Ambialet, France.

    He is currently working with the tech division of the university called CEREMUSA on a distance learning research project where they are studying the effectiveness of using video-teleconferencing as an effective means to train occupational therapists how to use a drumming therapy protocol with autistic children.

    Prior to joining Saint Francis University, Jim Donovan was a founding member of the multi-platinum touring band Rusted Root from 1990-2005 with whom he released 6 CDs and 2 DVDs. He was recently named "2008 Drum Circle Facilitator of the Year" by the readers of Drum! Magazine. Donovan studied and played African music with various master drummers such as Congolese master drummer Elie Kihonia and Mamady Keita from Guinea. He has researched traditional African music for over 20 years via performance, readings and field recordings, and has continuously integrated his findings into all of his music and teachings.

    As a solo artist and teacher, Donovan has released 5 highly acclaimed solo CD's as well as 4 instructional drumming CD's. His newest release is an instructional hand drumming DVD entitled, Rhythmic Foundation : Interactive African Drumming for Everyone.

    Outside of his work at Saint Francis, Donovan regularly conducts educational drumming workshop programs across the US and Europe at universities, corporations, festivals, schools, and specialty venues.