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Michael Mustafa Ulmer


Michael Mustafa Ulmer is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Detroit, MI. He studied music at Indiana University’s School of Music and graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a Concentration in Voice. Based in New York City for over 20 years, he has had the opportunity of recording and performing with artists such as James Blood Ulmer, El DeBarge, Donald McKayle, Nana Camille Yarbrough, Patience Higgins, Bill Saxton, Montego Joe, Archie Lee,  Craig Harris, Dr. Glory Van-Scott, Joan Peters, Aziza, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance, Miriam Barbosa Dance, Judith Jamison, Robert Battle and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Mustafa's mission of educating young artists and music novices is realized through World Vibration Studio, his home-grown music education studio. Concurrently, he works as a teaching artist and accompanist for various New York public and private schools and arts organizations, including Def Dance Jam Workshop, Dr. Glory’s Youth Theatre, Palms Down Percussion, Manhattan Country School, Midori Friends, Cordoba House Sunday School and The Ailey School. Mustafa has also been a member of Palms Down, a world-renowned percussionist ensemble based in New York, creating music from the African-based cultures lead by the Co-founders of Roderick L. Jackson and Ayanda Clarke. As a member of Palms Down, Mustafa has recorded three cd’s; “From Birth to the Earth” (2003), “Urban Drummers” (2005) and “Rhythm Child” (2018).   

Mustafa is continuously wielding his artistry as jazz pianist, percussionist and vocalist, as well as playing hypnotic drone grooves on the Didjeridoo. He is currently working recording his new album “From Silence 2 Love” with his most recent jazz project Didjazz+3. In keeping true to his love and passion of traditional hand-drum percussion music, he is researching and creating new music for his longtime dream project, Sacred Drum Collective | myu.  His newest group, a multi-percussionist trio, had their New York City music debut composing and performing live for choreographer Fredrick Earl Mosley's piece “Running Spirits” at Manhattan Movement Arts Center, followed by a music festival debut at the Jazzmobile Summerfest 2022, and finally with choreographer Larry Keigwin’s collaborative flash mob themed piece at Domino Park.