Faculty

James Santi Owen

James Santi Owen

Jim Santi Owen is an American percussionist, educator, performer, composer and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Drumming since the age of eight, he has devoted over 30 years to the study of the classical percussion traditions of North and South India with tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri and South Indian master percussionists, Vidwans T.H. Subash Chandran and K. Sekar. Owen studied Jazz with Charlie Haden, James Newton, and Tootie Heath and African drumming and dance from Alfred, Kobla, and C.K. Ladzekpo and Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo.  He holds a  Master’s degree in World Music from California Institute of the Arts and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies. Owen has worked with internationally renowned artists including: Pharoah Sanders, Hamza el Din, Alonzo King, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Subash Chandran, K. Sekar, Chitresh Das, Kartik Seshadri, Sharam Nazeri, Steve Smith, Terry Riley, Alam Khan, John Santos, Joseph Jarman, Yair Dalal, Bikram Ghosh, Ganesh Kumar, Jai Uttal, Myra Melford,  Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Omar Sosa, and Steve Gorn. A dedicated teacher, Owen is on faculty at the Ali Akbar College of Music, Dominican University, the California Jazz Conservatory, and LINES Ballet and travels around the world teaching master classes for adults and youth.  Owen served as Music Director for the San Francisco World Music Festival from 2009-2014 and as a curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music. His work as a composer and producer can be found in Facebook’s Sound Collection which features over 150 of his original, traditional, and Indian classical music tracks.