Mariana Ramírez


Mariana Ramírez is a NYC-based freelance percussionist who began her music studies at the National Conservatory of Mexico in Mexico City. She went on to receive her Bachelors of Music in Percussion at Rutgers University. Mariana has performed in Europe, Asia, and Mexico playing with Mexican traditional music bands, symphonic ensembles, chamber orchestras, and pop bands. In addition to touring as a soloist and multifaceted collaborator, Mariana was the percussionist of the First National Broadway Tour of Once on This Island. She has also subbed on Broadway with the show Once on This Island which led to playing on two more Broadway shows: Head Over Heels and Ain’t Too Proud, The Life and Times of the Temptations. Currently she is one of just two female Mexican drummer/percussionists performing on Broadway. Off-Broadway shows include Merrily We Roll Along and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, among many others. Mariana recently recorded the cast album of the new musical Platinum Girls, with music by Andrew Beall, with Broadway Records and currently has the percussion chair at the Broadway show Six.

As a chamber musician, Mariana founded the percussion quartet, Excelsis, which was praised as “one of the most innovative and exciting percussion ensembles to emerge in the golden age of chamber music that we are presently in” by Jonathan Hass, head of the New York University Percussion Department. Excelsis has performed twice at NPR Radio in their “From the Top” show, the Percussive Arts Society New York Weekend of Percussion in 2014 and 2015, Brooklyn Bound with So Percussion, Zeltsman’s Marimba Festival, Tippet Rise Music Festival in Montana, and most recently presented a master class at Salem University in Massachusetts. Excelsis is endorsed by Sabian Cymbals. 

As a symphonic percussionist, Mariana has performed with orchestras in Mexico and the United States, including the National Symphony of Mexico, Orquesta de Minería, Dartmouth Symphony, South Florida Symphony, the first all-Women Orchestra of Mexico, New England Ensemble, Fairfield Orchestra, and most recently with The Dessoff Choir, premiering works for Choir and Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. As a chamber percussionist she has collaborated with many ensembles such as, The Pit Stop Players, Orquesta de Camara de Nueva York, and most recently the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, recording a Concerto for Bandoneon and Violin by JP Jofre.

Mariana is passionate for independent projects. She won, twice in a row, the FONCA grant given to Mexican Artists. With the first grant in 2018, she developed repertory for Motus Duet, a duet with dance, percussion and electronics, which she took on tour for a month in Mexico giving 14 concerts in 5 different cities. With the second grant in 2019, she is developing new recordings of hip hop and Gregorian chant. This project will be premiered in 2021.

Mariana is also passionate about music education, believing that “It is an effective way to share and learn traditions from my Mexican culture and other cultures.” As an educator, Mariana was a Teaching Artist at S'cool Sounds founded by Nina Stern, Music Partners by the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, on the Percussion Faculty at the Bronx Conservatory of Music, and in the Extension Division at Montclair University.

Mariana has also performed on TV shows including Steven Colbert Late Night Show, and TV series such as Mozart in the Jungle and NBC Universal Upfronts at Radio City Music Hall, among others.

Mariana is endorsed by Sabian cymbals, Pearl drums, and Innovative Percussion.



Program 2

Andrea Mazzariello – Concert Pop, for drumset and track

Ivan Trevino – Heat Stroke for drumset and tape

Nebojsa J. ZIvkovic Suomineito, for solo vibraphone

Casey Cangelosi – Fanatic, for drumset and track

Cangelosi – A Cool Gadget for Tambourine, for tambourine and track

James Larter – Bedawi, for marimba, multi-percussion, and track

Program 1: The Sounds of the Concrete

Andrew Beall – Rancho Jubilee, for cajon trio

Pablo Bagilet – Argentinian Suite, for solo vibraphone

Teotihuacan Video (Pre-recorded)

Nebojsa J. ZIvkovic Suomineito, for solo vibraphone

Evan Chapman – one hundred and twenty/ everything, for solo percussion and track

Chapman – Buttonwood, for snare drum and track


What is Percussion? (Grades 2–6)

Introducing the percussion family while demonstrating the instruments. Open with a piece together. Then, one by one, one person describes the snare drum, demonstrating it. The next person can demonstrate a tambourine, relating it to the snare drum, and playing a little on it. We can also discuss the sister instrument of the tambourine, the pandeiro, and its rich cultural history. Next, we can discuss pitched versus unpitched instruments. The next person can introduce the mallet instruments and discuss the origins in Africa and South/Central America. We can end by selecting a few students to come up, one by one, and have a mini lesson on each instrument.

Rhythms of the World (Middle School)

Students will be able to learn rhythms and history from countries such as Cuba, Mexico, Ghana, and Russia. They will learn how to play the clave, how to play a valse, how to play a zapateado from Mexico, and songs from Africa.