Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
A native of Billings, Montana, Ryan won the 1990 Governor's Scholarship to attend the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. He continued his music studies at Lawrence University where he explored a large variety of percussion including orchestral and contemporary percussion literature. His interest in world music led him to India where he studied the tabla and the pakhawaj. He now co-leads an Afro-Cuban drum trio, Africa->West. The trio plays original compositions based on traditional African and Cuban music. In pursuit of his main passion to play jazz music, Ryan has studied with jazz greats Jeff Hamilton, Joel Spencer, Matt Wilson, Carl Allen, John Clayton and Kelly Sill. Currently he is a free-lance musician, clinician and educator. Ryan has played on numerous recordings and has been seen at a variety of jazz festivals and jazz venues across America. He is Professor of Jazz Percussion and Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point.