River Guerguerian has been inspiring audiences with his ecstatic and versatile percussion for over 30 years. Whether collaborating with worldclass artists, supporting symphonies or creating his own dynamic explorations of rhythm, River’s devotion and attention to the vibrant life of the drum reverberate through the mind and soul of the listener.
In 1994, River decided to sell all of his possessions and step off of the grid. He resided in a wildlife sanctuary in the Himalayas. The adventure lasted for five years and led to his immersion into extensive natureinspired research and experimentation into the physiological effects of sound upon brainwave states. He continued his investigation of trance-inducing instrumentation as he further explored the East, closely observing the distinctive techniques of several cultures.
Drawing upon his richly diverse experiences, River plays across a remarkable span of musical genres and traditions, both obscure and mainstream. His patient research and unrelenting passion have allowed him to develop a personal and masterful sound from Old World frame drums, Middle Eastern, Indian, Western, African and AfroCuban percussion instruments and more. His compositions have been commissioned for and performed by chamber ensembles, universities, modern dance companies, and international music festivals.
A respected music educator, River is Music Director for Odyssey Community School’s Creative Technology & Arts Center. He also conducts “rhythm and sound exploration” workshops throughout the country, and enjoys teaching privately.
Since 1999, River has lived in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC with his wife and three daughters.
River has successfully launched the Asheville Percussion Festival, a downhome and world class experience that summons percussionists from near and far to fellowship, study, and be renewed in their practice and lives.