Keith Terry

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Keith Terry
Born1951 (age 68–69)
Waxahachie, Texas, United States
Occupation(s)Percussionist, rhythm dancer, educator
Years active1959–present

Keith Terry (born November 22, 1951, in Waxahachie, Texas) is an American percussionist, rhythm dancer, and educator. He is best known for pioneering the art form, Body Music.[1] He is a soloist and the ensemble director of Crosspulse, an Oakland, California-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation and performance of rhythm-based intercultural music and dance.[2] Crosspulse was founded by Terry with Debra Lloyd and Jim Hogan and produces dance and music works ranging in size from solos and duos to ensembles of one hundred performers, touring ambitious and logistically complex performances throughout the world. In addition, Crosspulse produces educational and outreach programs for children and adults and audio and video recordings and books, including "The Rhythm of Math."[3] His teaching method has been praised by music educators, especially within the Orff system. In 2008, Terry was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship.[4]

Terry is also the founding director of the International Body Music Festival(IBMF), an annual six-day Body Music festival that has been produced in the United States, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Ghana, Italy, Greece and France. As part of the 10th International Body Music Festival in Accra, Ghana, Terry was awarded the 2018 PERCUACTION Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging his achievements in the fields of performance, industry and education. Previous honorees include: Jose Luis Quintana 'Changuito', Reinhard Flatischler, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Remo Belli, Zakir Hussain and Keiko Abe.

Professional development[edit]

In 1979, Terry became a charter member of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Gamelan Sekar Jaya, founded by Michael Tenzer, Rachael Cooper and I Wayan Suweca, a community Balinese music and dance group that has become the foremost Balinese group outside of Bali. At the same time, Terry worked with the Pickle Family Circus and Jazz Tap Ensemble (JTE). At JTE, from 1979-1983 he created several original body percussion works with the dancers and musicians including “Tune for KB” and “Hey Rube.” During one rehearsal, Terry had a revelation that he could displace everything he was doing with the drums onto his body. He stood up and started dancing his music.[5] Keith originated the term “body music” to describe his new inventions.[6]

As a soloist Terry has appeared at Lincoln Center, Bumbershoot, the Vienna International Dance Festival, and the Paradiso van Slag World Drum Festival in Amsterdam and been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and PRI's, "The World"[7]. His groups – Corposonic, Slammin All-Body Band, Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble, Professor Terry’s Circus Band Extraordinaire, Body Tjak (with I Wayan Dibia), and Free Dive – have performed in a variety of venues, including Joe’s Pub, WNYC, and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NY); Grand Performances, LACMA Jazz, the Roxy, and the Skirball Center (Los Angeles); SFJazz, Vancouver Island MusicFest, and the Bali Arts Festival. Keith has performed with artists including Charles “Honi” Coles, Turtle Island Quartet, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Kenny Endo, Freddie Hubbard, Tex Williams, Robin Williams, and Bobby McFerrin.

Terry collaborates with many of the International Body Music Festival artists including Evie Ladin, Bryan Dyer, Fernando Barba (and members of Barbatuques), Dewa Putu Berata (and members of Çudamani), Leela Petronio, Thanos Daskalopoulos, Jep Melendez, and Raul Cabrera.[8] He tours extensively in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, where his Body Music performances, workshops, residencies and choreographic commissions are popular among professional performers and educators.

Keith Terry has a BA in World Music from Antioch University/West, San Francisco. From 1998 to 2005 Terry was on the faculty at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. In 2006 he conceived and directed the first International Body Music Performance Project for the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. In 2010 Terry was on the Dance Program faculty at UC Berkeley.[9]


  • 1994, Keith Terry & Crosspulse
  • 1998, Crosspulse / Serpentine
  • 2001, Body Tjak / The Celebration
  • 2004, Professor Terry's Circus Band Extraordináire
  • 2005, SLAMMIN all-body band
  • 2013, I Like Everything About You (Yes I Do!), Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble


  • 2000, Body Tjak/The Celebration Live Performance DVD
  • 2002, Body Music, Part One with Keith Terry Instructional DVD
  • 2007, Body Music, Part Two with Keith Terry Instructional DVD
  • 2013, Slammin All-Body Band Performance DVD
  • 2014, Body Music, Part Three with Keith Terry Instructional DVD

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Richardson, Derk (August 7, 1983). "Keith Terry: His Body Music was Cooked Up in the Kitchen".
  2. ^ Sommer, Sally (May 31, 1998). "Hands Dance, Feet Sing And Bodies Are the Drums". New York Times.
  3. ^ Rhythm of Math: Teaching Mathematics with Body Music Book/DVD Keith Terry and Linda Akiyama (2015)
  4. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Keith Terry". Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  5. ^ Young, Robin. "Keith Terry Makes Music With His Own Two Hands (And Feet, And Cheeks, And Chest…)". NPR. WBUR - Boston. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  6. ^ Feldman, Rhea (May 5, 1983). "Keith Terry: an instrument in himself". Berkeley Repertory Theater. 3 (3).
  7. ^ Werman, Marco. "Body Music". PRI's The World. PRI. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
  8. ^ "International Body Music Festival :: About Us". Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  9. ^ "Keith Terry". Crosspulse. Retrieved 26 January 2018.