Derek Wright is a long-time student, performer and teacher of music and dance. He has deeply studied Brazilian percussion, Middle Eastern stringed instruments, North Indian classical music, voice, body music, dance accompaniment, and improvisation.
Derek Wright has been a musician all of his life. He started his training thanks to a vibrant music program in the public elementary school he attended in Amherst, MA. Then, growing up in New Orleans, he was a jazz bassist, a saxophonist, and percussionist. In the mid 1990s he began learning Middle Eastern and Afghan music, and started playing the oud. In 2002 he moved to the Bay Area and began studying North Indian classical music (both vocal and instrumental) with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Derek has continued to study at the Ali Akbar College of Music, using the oud in the style of the sarode.
Since 1995 he has also been a passionate student, performer, and teacher of Brazilian music (mostly percussion and vocal) and dance. Derek has traveled to Brazil many times and attended California Brazil Camp every year since 2002 (where he has been on staff as a dance accompanist and teacher since 2006). At CBC he formed a deep artistic bond of improvisation and composition with Rosangela Silvestre, and the two have worked together over many years to create fantastic dance workshops and performances in the U.S. and Brazil. In 2012 Derek organized the first U.S. cultural exchange tour with Nininho, a master drummer, composer and teacher from Olinda, PE, Brazil who founded and directs Maracatu Badia, the first-ever maracatu group in Pernambuco to allow women to play the alfaia and caixa drums.