april is a drummer, percussionist, educator and music therapist in the new york / new jersey and international music scene
April Centrone is a versatile performer of drumset in the genres of hard rock, jazz, funk, world, progressive and avante-garde. Her other trademark is as a performer and educator of the riqq (Arabic tambourine), as well as the darbekkeh (goblet drum) and frame drum. For almost ten years, she was student of master Lebanese/Palestinian percussionist, Michel Baklouk Merhej, and studied Arabic music and its other instruments, including the 'ud (Arabic lute), buzuq (Arabic 'saz') and violin. She has performed with renowned Arab artists such as Marcel Khalife, Ziad Rahbani, Bassam Saba, Charbel Rouhana and Najib Shaheen. Centrone is the executive director and co-founder of the New York Arabic Orchestra, her duties including event booking, planning and management as well as performance and education.
As an educator, Centrone has led workshops in Arabic music around the world, from the Taipei Chinese Orchestra Silk Road Conference to Berklee School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music. In fall of 2009, Centrone participated as a teaching artist and consultant for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Connect, a year-round world-education initiative for public schools, and for 5 years served as Musicians For Harmony’s Lead Teaching Artist, directing the "Music of the World" program for inner-city youth. Currently, Centrone leads the Beirut-based all-female frame drum and chanting group, IKARO, as well as Arabic music and language project مشروع جذور لبنان - Project Roots Lebanon, serving youth of refugee camps and underprivileged zones.
Centrone has produced events and/or performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, NYC Opera House, Lincoln Center and Town Hall, and festivals such as the Beirut Jazz Festival and Jim Beam Rocks! in Lebanon, Marciac Jazz Festival in France, Festival Du Monde Arabe in Montreal, World Music Festival of New Zealand, Taipei Chinese Orchestra Silk Road Festival in Taiwan, Festival Músicas do Mundo in Portugal and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors in New York City. Centrone has toured throughout North America, South America, Middle East, Far East and Europe.
Centrone's music projects on drumset and percussion include the Ziad Rahbani Band and Orchestra, IKLIL (Lebanon's all-female rock band), Hat Lanshouf (Amr Alsafadi / Yazan Al-Hajari- Arabic cabaret original music), Secret Chiefs 3 (Trey Spruance, Middle Eastern-inspired heavy rock), Bassam Saba Ensemble (classical Arabic takht), Al-Madar (Arabic jazz/rock), New York Arabic Orchestra (classical Arabic orchestra), Oumi Ensemble (Arabic-Japanese original music), Tammam Saeed folk duet, Eyvind Kang, Christian Jarvi’s Absolute Ensemble, Nolan Gasser's World Concerto (East Oakland Bay Symphony).
In theatre, Centrone participated as music director, performer and composer for "Arabian Nights" by Mary Zimmerman (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre 2006), and performed percussion, oud and violin for one-woman plays, "Head over Heels in Saudi Arabia" by Maisah Sobaihi, and "Everyone Has Tears" by Cynthia Sophiea.
Centrone holds a MA in psychology from John Jay College and began the first music therapy program at a prominent NY children’s psychiatric hospital. Centrone has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in forensic psychology at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.