Alex Salvador has been playing hand drums since 1997 and has studied under various drumming teachers including internationally renowned Djembe Master –Famoudou Konaté in Guinea, West Africa.
Originally from the Philippines and residing in Townsville since 1987, Alex has contributed to the growth of the drumming scene in Townsville and surrounding regions through drum circles, performance and facilitation of djembe and conga drumming workshops.
Alex specialises in traditional West African drumming performing with his group Wassa Rhythms of West Africa as group leader and artistic director since 2001 all over North Queensland and as far as Papua New Guinea representing Townsville in its sister city Port Moresby. He has performed at hundreds of local events, festivals, sporting events and schools with Wassa and and as a percussionist with previous groups such as “Tumbadoras”, Latin Jazz ensemble “The Jalapenos” and Salsa ensemble “Hot Salsa”. For the past three years, Wassa has been contracted to perform at all home games of the National Rugby League team, the North Queensland Cowboys, performing to crowds of up to 20,000. Over the years Alex has shared the stage with the 1RAR Army Band, internationally renowned trumpet virtuoso James Morrison, Australian icon Darryl Braithwaite and international activist David Suzuki. He has appeared on numerous recordings, as a session percussionist, including the debut album of internationally renowned folk duo “Women in Docs”.
A pianist since age 8, Alex has explored various styles including classical, jazz, contemporary and salsa. Apart from piano and various hand drums, Alex also plays guitar and enjoys exploring other instruments such as didgeridoo, clarinet, saxophone, Balafon (African Xylophone), Kamele N’goni (African Harp), tongue drums, Hang-style Pi Drum and Armenian reed instrument, the Duduk.
Alex not only plays African drums but also builds these using drum shells carved in West Africa and headed with Australian goat skins. He provides a drum repair service for djembes, congas, bongos and other hand drums.
He works full-time at James Cook University managing and providing support to students under Australia Awards Scholarships.