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Ellen Mayer

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World of Percussion


Ellen Mayer was born in Tübingen/Germany and grew up, due to her English mother bilingually. Her musical career began at the age of six when she started to take viola lessons. Later she entered various ensembles and orchestras (LJO Baden-Württemberg, IRO) and won many prizes in competitions and toured throughout Russia, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Italy and the USA.

From 1998 - 2001 she studied Eurythmics at the College of Music in Hanover/Germany, leaving to study percussion under César Granados and Márcio Alves at the Latin-Percussion-School in Munich/Germany. She completed her Eurythmics studies and began four years of percussion at the College of Music in Mannheim/Germany in the jazz section under Prof. José J. Cortijo. She completed her studies (Hanover, Munich and Mannheim) in 2006.

In 2005 Ellen was awarded a Baden-Württemberg scholarship to Salvador de Bahia/Brasil for six months. She studied at the Escola de Música (UFBA) under Jorge Sacramento and played with many musicians from Bahia. In summer 2004 she travelled to Habana/Cuba to discover for herself the roots of Cuban music and to take lessons there by various teachers. Returning to Germany she accompanied Robin Gibb (BeeGees) on the German „Magnetic Tour” (DVD Live/CD).

Ellen Mayer has been accompanying the Kevin O'Day Ballet of the National Theatre in Mannheim/Germany since 2002 and she has played at the National Theatre Mannheim and the Schauspiel Frankfurt for varying theatre productions and musicals. Besides playing with national and international artists such as Robin Gibb/BeeGees, Pete York/Spencer Davis Group, Chris Thompson/Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and many more Ellen has had regular appearances with her own band „Formatura” as well as spots at jazz festivals.

Since 2004 Ellen Mayer is endorsed by Meinl Percussion & Cymbals.

Since 2012 Ellen has a professorship at the College of Music in Mannheim and is associate professor at the "Akademie für Musikpädagogische Ausbildung Baden-Württemberg" as well as the "Landesakademie für die musizierende Jugend Baden-Württemberg". Ellen is also teaching Cuban, Brazilian and African percussion in her private studio in Mannheim and in Augsburg. Since 2010 she is a member of Percussion Creative e.V. 

Ellen is the author of the percussion book series „World of Percussion“ for the music publisher „Schott Music“ in which the first four books „Conga“, „Bongo“, "Cajón" and „Djembé“ have already been released. Besides Ellen produced and published her children’s audiobook „Lisa, die kleine Maus vom Emmichplatz und das Orchester“ for Rodenstein Klassik in 2011.