April Centrone is a performer of Arabic percussion (riqq, darbuka, frame drums) and western drumset, as well as the oud, buzuq, saz and violin. April strives to preserve classical Arabic music and promote Arabic music education around the world, giving opportunity to those young and old, musicians amateur and professional, to practice this rich, joyful and ancient art. She dreams of a world that embraces culture through the universal and potent language of music.
For over 5 years, April’s pride and joy has been in building a community of Arabic percussionists through weekly classes, workshops and performances. Her students, ranging in age from 20s-70s, now form a beautiful family that enjoys making music together every week, and are the voices that carry the beautiful tradition forward and outward around the world.
Additionally, April serves as a Carnegie Hall World Explorer and Paul Simon Music Fellow. She is the founder of 10PRL arts/film/event space in Long Branch, New Jersey, and co-founder of nonprofit, New York Arabic Orchestra. She has performed in venues such as the United Nations Assembly Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and NYC Opera House, and is the principal percussionist for Ubisoft’s 2023 soundtrack release of Assassin’s Creed: Mirage video game.
As a drummer and percussionist, she has toured with Arab icons Ziad Rahbani, Marcel Khalife and Bassam Saba, and rock/jazz/avante-garde groups, Secret Chiefs 3 on tour with Primus, Eyvind Kang (Bill Frisell) and others.
April worked widely with inner-city schools, teaching and coordinating multiple world music projects through Musicians For Harmony and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Connect. Most recently in early 2023, she led a 16-week Arabic music series in Brooklyn as part of the Paul Simon Music Fellow Residency / Carnegie Hall Weill Institute. She has led Arabic music classes and workshops around the world, including Taipei University of the Arts, Lebanese American University, William Paterson University, Choate Preparatory School and others.
She was the lead music therapist of the U.S. Embassy of Malaysia Music Therapy Tour where she held workshops at Rohingya refugee youth centers and safe houses for young Malaysian women. During her three-year residence in Lebanon, she worked with various NGOs including AlKamanjati and Najda Now, and her own project, Juthoor, teaching Arabic music to Syrian and Palestinian refugee youth.