Susie Ibarra

Composer, Percussionist, Improviser, Educator



Susie Ibarra has performed at numerous festivals and concert halls including: Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall NYC, The Barbican Theatre London, The Noguchi Museum, The Exploratorium San Francisco, Pioneer Works Brooklyn, Smithsonian Institute, Library of Congress, Sharjah Art Foundation and Biennial , REDCAT Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts Theatre, The Kitchen, The Serpentine Summer Festival and Gallery Pavilion London, Modern Art Museum MoMA Summer Garden, TED Long Beach, TED Vancouver and TED Global Rio, Thames River Festival for the London 2012 Olympics, , Music and Social Gastronomy at the Refettorio for Rio 2016 Olympics, Sacred Music Festival of Fez Morocco 2016, National Museum of Wildlife Art, EMPAC Rensselear RPI, Ecstatic Music Festival, Electronic Music Festival,

Collaborating Artists

Susie Ibarra has recorded albums as a leader, collaborator and soloist. She has performed with many artists including Yuka Honda, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Laurie Anderson, Makoto Fujimura, Claire Chase, Alex Peh, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Ikue Mori, Tashi Dorji, Brian Chase, Tarek Atoui, , Kronos String Quartet, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Sylvie Courvoisier, Tania Leon, Yoshimio, Marc Ribot, Min Xiao Fen, Jin Hi Kim, Juan Sanchez, Roberto Juan Rodriguez, Anthony Davis, Yusef Komunyakaa, Trisha Brown, Daniel Fish, Mark Dresser, William Parker, John Lindberg, Kathleen Supove, Jennifer Choi, Bridget Kibbey, Dr. L Subramaniam

Awards and Fellowships

Susie Ibarra is a Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets and Zildjian Drumset Artist.

National Geographic Explorer Grantee for Storytelling 2020

United States Artist Fellow in Music 2019 supported by the Doris Duke Foundation

Harvestworks Media Scholarship 2019

Asian Cultural Council Fellow 2018

TED Senior Fellow 2014

Harvestworks Electronic Music Artist in Residency 2012

TED Fellow 2010

NYFA New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in  Music/ Sound  2010

Asia 21 Young Leaders Fellow, Summit Jakarta, Indonesia 2010

Asia Cultural Council Fellow 2007

Downbeat Critics Poll , Nominated for Best Percussionist 2017

Downbeat International Readers Poll, Best Percussionist 2010

Downbeat Critics Poll, Best Percussionist 2009

Modern Drummer Cover Feature “Changing the Game”  2010

Modern Drummer Pro Panel 2012

Recent Grants

National Geographic Explorer Grantee in Storytelling 2020

Harvestworks Media Scholarship 2019 for Spatial Mixing and Recording

New Music USA 2018 for Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms

Asian Cultural Council 2018 Fellowship and Grant for Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes and recording along the Ganges

Kensinger Meeting Award, Bennington College Summer 2017 – To Co-Host a Convening in Improvisation with Susan Sgorbati, Elena Demyanenko and guests

Bennington Faculty Research Grant Summer 2017

For initial sound recording tests on Easton Glacier,Washington. Initial recording tests were made to research sounds in the environment of a glacier with glaciologist and geomorphologist Michele Koppes.

These tests were development work for upcoming research to map from source to sink along 1200 miles the sounds of 3 glaciers , its rivers and communities that it serves in the Himalayas in 2018.

National Endowment for the Arts and Art Place America, Our Town Grant, with The City of Asylum, Pittsburgh for Digital Sanctuaries Pittsburgh, a modular music and poetry app walk of historic sites in north Pittsburgh, PA 2014

New Music USA New Commission, for Digital Sanctuaries NYC, a modular music app walk of 12 historic sites in Lower Manhattan with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 2013

MAP (Multi-Arts Program) Fund, a Rockefeller Foundation , Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant for Digital Sanctuaries NYC 2013 

 Recent Commissions, Creative Work and Concerts

Walking on Water, Ibarra’s first set of spirituals composed and to be recorded is commissioned by Culture Care Inc. for visual artist Makoto Fujimura’s paintings Walking on Water will be released 2020 digitally and for installation to accompany the paintings Spring 2020

Fragility Etudes will premiere and be performed by Susie Ibarra and DreamTime Ensemble  for the Asia Society Triennial 2020-2021, on Nov 20, 2020

November 2-6 2020
Susie Ibarra Composer Residency with the San Francisco Girls Chorus with conductor and artistic director Valerie Agathe. A new work for premiere Spring 2021

MXTX A Cross Border Exchange 2020-2021
Golden Hornet commissions Susie Ibarra to compose a work alongside 11 other composers for an ensemble from Mexico and Texas . “MXTX will be a live performance, album and an open- source audio sample library crossing physical and social boundaries.”  Premieres will be Mexico City, Austin and Marfa, Texas in 2021.

October 2020
Solo Viola commission for Daniel Louis Doña to be performed at Boston University alongside a program of Shostakovitch Viola Sonata

October 3, 2020
Jin Hi Kim, Min Xiao Fen, Susie Ibarra : Asian Sound Revolution
Augusta Savage Gallery, Amherst MA

Oct 13-17 Susie Ibarra Stone Residency at The New School
Oct 13 
Sylvie Courvoisier and Susie Ibarra 
Oct 14 
Rajna Swaminathan,  Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe,  Susie Ibarra 
Oct 15 
Yuka Honda, Samita Sinha, Susie Ibarra 
Oct 16 
Jin Hi Kim, Min Xiao-Fen, Susie Ibarra
Oct 17 
Susie Ibarra DreamTime Ensemble

Spring 2020 TBA
Susie Ibarra, Rhythm Cycles, solo drumset
commissioned performance by the Bagri Foundation 
for At the Cutting Edge Series , November 2019
to be released digitally 2020 and LP on OTO Projects, London UK

March 2020
Splice Explores, The Himalayas sound pack by Susie Ibarra

March 6, 2020
Dave Douglas Trio with Marilyn Crispell and Susie Ibarra performer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Feb 2020 
Pulsation by Susie Ibarra for Kronos String Quartet
50 for the Future Kronos Learning Repertoire , release

Feb 2020 
Susie Ibarra receives a 2020 National Geographic Explorer Grant for Storytelling to support her sound and science team in collaboration with glaciologist and geomorphologist Michele Koppes on the project  Water Rhythms: Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes

Dec 2019
Susie Ibarra signed as a Zildjian Drumset Artist

November 2019 At the Cutting Edge commissioned performance by the Bagri Foundation , performed solo Rhythm Cycles at Café Oto, London UK

November 2019 Harvard Graduate School of Design,  Rouse Visiting Guest Artist Lecture and Performance 

November 2019 Percussive Arts Society PASIC Focus Day Concert, Susie Ibarra

Sept 2019 Hopscotch Music Festival, solo drumset Susie Ibarra

May 3 , 2019 Freedom of Sound Festival, Montclair NJ

Susie Ibarra DreamTime Ensemble perform Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms

With choreographer and dancer Souleymane Badolo

April 17,18,19

Bardo Now Events at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs

Duet performances of Tashi Dhorji and Susie Ibarra

April 12/13, 2019

Day of Percussion for Percussive Arts Society at

SUNY Oneonta ,  Susie Ibarra Drumset Clinic and Performances of percussion music,  These Trees That Speak , Merienda and Mimesis

March 21, 2019

Big Ears Festival, Knoxville TN,  Mill and Mine

Yunohana Variations Trio with Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe , YoshimiO and Susie Ibarra

June 2018 Premiere of Fragility : An Exploration of Polyrhythms

Asia Society Museum, Starr Gallery

Sept 2017- Dec 2017 Musician in Residency at Pioneer Works

2018-2019 Commission for Kronos String Quartet , Pulsation

50 for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.

2018 Commission for PRISM Saxophone Quartet + percussion, Procession Along the Aciga Treeperformance at the Free Library of Philadelphia, recording on XAS Records, and performance in NYC.

2018 Spring

Davenport Composer in Residence at SUNY New Paltz NY

Commission and Premiere for a new work Talking Gong for trio with pianist Alex Peh and flautist Claire Chase

2018 Spring Premiere of Talking Gong at SUNY New Paltz NY and at the Look and Listen Festival NYC curated by Phyllis Chen.

2017 August Premiere

Commissioned music score for feature film, When the Storm Fades, written and directed by Filipino-Canadian director Sean Devlin and executive producers The Yes Men.

ABOUT THE FILM: A tragicomic re-enactment of a Filipino family’s daily struggle to recover from the strongest storm in recorded history. Three years after Typhoon Haiyan, the Pablos have rebuilt their seaside home in Tacloban, one of the Philippines’ poorest neighbourhoods. Their slow recovery is shaken up by two awkward Canadian volunteers planting trees in the community. This white couple is learning the difference between helping and actually being helpful. The result is a satirical examination of the white saviour complex and a quiet meditation on grief in the era of climate change. A microbudget film from Filipino-Canadian director Sean Devlin 叶 世民, starring real Filipino storm survivors re-enacting their own experiences alongside Canadian Comedy Award Winners Kayla Lorette and Aaron Read.

August 2016

Social project collaboration with TEDSenior Fellow and Social Gastronomist , Brazilian Chef David Hertz , to bring music and nutritious meals for those in need from repurposed food during the Rio Olympics at the Refettorio Rio “Musician and ( Bennington) faculty member Susie Ibarra is working with David Hertz, a Brazilian chef and a World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, around the launch of Refettorio Gastromotiva, a food and cultural center that will repurpose 12 tons of food from the Olympics to turn it into nutritious meals for the neediest of Rio.”

May 2016

Sacred Music Festival of Fez, Musical Water Routes of Fez,

A modular architecture and music app of the old city Medina of Fez water routes for iphone and ipad in collaboration with Architect Aziza Chaouni. Music by Ibarra with Field Recordings of the Hamdcha Fez Sufi Group.

June 2015

Commission and Installation title “Mirrors and Water” with guest Chinese Pipa musician, Min Xiao Fen,  for Ai Wei Wei’s installation of Circle of Animals, Zodiac Heads at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Wyoming.

February 2015

Solo percussion performance of Circadian Rhythms for a 72 channel speaker theatre at the San Francisco Exploratorium. Music by Ibarra with Field Recordings from the Cornell Macaulay Library.

August 2014  & July 2013

Digital Sanctuaries Pittsburgh

Digital Sanctuaries Lower Manhattan

Digital Sanctuariesa modular music app walk that remaps cities with sanctuaries of music and engages with historical and cultural sites within a city with music composed by Electric Kulintang commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and The City of Asylum Pittsburgh.

August 2014

The Cotabato Sessionsa digital music film and album that captures one family legacy of gong-chime kulintang music in Mindanao, Philippine Written and produced by Susie Ibarra, Filmed by Joel Quizon and Form Follows Function Inc, advised by the late master kulintang artist Danongan Kalanduyan.

April 2014

The City a Radio Radiance commission for Young Peoples Chorus of NYC

June 2014

We Float, a commission by Ecstatic Music Festival with singer songwriter Mirah, a sonic retelling of space explorations

Earth Day April 2013

Circadian Rhythms, commissioned for Earth Day 2013 at Renssalear RPI EMPAC inspired by endogenous rhythms for 80 percussionists and 8.1 surround sound of Macaulay Library recordings.

Selected Discography

2020 Splice Explores sound pack ,The Himalayas,  by Susie Ibarra

2019 Splice Originals sound pack, Experimental Percussion with Susie Ibarra

2018 Splice Originals sound pack , Susie Ibarra Percussion Template

2018 winter release Yoshimio, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Susie Ibarra, Dunes , Thrill Jockey Records

2017 fall release Susie Ibarra DreamTime Ensemble, Perception , recorded for Decibel Collective Records

2017 April Mamadou Kelly, Politiki, Clermont Music

2016  Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Susie Ibarra,  New Sanctuary Trio, Greenleaf Music

2012  Wadada Leo Smith,  Ten Freedom Summers , Cuneiform Records

2007  Susie Ibarra solo, Drum Sketches, Innova Records

2007 Electric Kulintang, Dialects, Plastic Records

2004 Susie Ibarra Trio, Folkloriko, Tzadik Records

2002  Susie Ibarra Trio, Songbird Suite, Tzadik Records

2002 Derek Bailey and Susie Ibarra , Bids , Incus Records

2000 Susie Ibarra  Flower after Flower , Tzadik Records

Position   Faculty of Music and Advancement in Public Action,

Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont

2012-2020 Susie Ibarra was a Faculty member at Bennington College teaching Performance, Percussion and at the Center for Advancement of Public Action. Her teaching at the Center focused on her work in Art Intervention, Revitalization of Urban and Rural Environments with the Arts, and Advocacy for Human Rights extended equally to Women and Girls. Her teaching in Music focused on Southeast and South Asian Percussion, Gongs, Drums and Bamboo, Jazz Drumset and Performance, Composer/Performer Ensembles and History of Women in Improvised Music.


B.A. Goddard College 1995 ; B.M. Mannes College of Music 1993

 Research Interests 



Sonic Mapping

Creative Placemaking

Revitalization of communities with the arts

Music and Technology

Music and Art and its dialogue on Climate Change

Drums and Percussion Music

Philippine Indigenous music

Philippine, Indonesian, Nepalese, Burmese, Indian Percussion Music


Women Composers and Improvisers