Culture Features

Meet this extraordinary Neo-African musician from Israel

A next-gen drummer, multi-percussionist, producer and a former Rock & Jazz drummer from Israel, Ben Aylon shares his 14 year long chapter of exploring and mastering the Senegalese music of Africa.  


An innovative and a pathbreaking cross-border percussionist from Israel, known to have gained national recognition in Senegal for his music, Ben Aylon presents the traditional Senegalese music with a highly modern twist. He began collecting and creating an entire African drum set of different instruments, so much so that he can easily play more than 10 instruments at the same time!

“Although I have never gone the traditional way of learning major instruments, something that has fascinated me the most is massive, deep and heavy sounding soundscapes, bass effects and frequencies.” he said, on the BeatCurry Podcast. Talking of massive soundscapes, he mentioned his interaction with one of India’s greatest Nagara exponents, Nathulal Solanki, describing “Rajasthani and African percussion sounds to be absolutely massive in nature.”

Being trained in Rock and Jazz, he had a brief introduction to Senegalese music through his teacher. Fascinated by the Djembe and Dundun drums, he began his exploration into more such African instruments. In 2007, he visited The Gambia and Senegal, towards understanding and learning the tradition, where he got to meet Doudou Ndiaye Rose, one of the greatest Senegalese drummers. Intrigued by the massive sounding ensembles, he started custom-designing an African drum set, and soon, began doing shows in the capital city of Senegal, Dakar. Collaborations with maestros such as Youssou N’Dour, Cheikh Lo, Omar Pene, Awadi and Doudou Ndiaye Rose not just made him a nationally well known musician, he also got the chance to show his creation to the masters. “They took my music quite personally, they were amazed by my creation.” he said.

With a sweet touch of Senegalese, Indian and Western influence, Ben Aylon is among today’s most newest, modern and offbeat voices in the field of musical creativity and ethnicity, and well is definitely a versatile musician to listen, follow and look out for.


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