The Riqq الرق

Site dedicated to the the traditional tambourine of Egypt & the Levant (daf)


Yes, great riqq teachers are very rare, but there are just enough that a serious student can find one,  if the dedication (and sometimes, the money for train or plane tickets), is there.


Adel Shams El Din

Generally recognized as being the most gifted and masterful classical riqq player alive today.  Adel exemplifies the essence of the Egyptian virtuosic tradition of the riqq - carrying on the legacy of the great masters such as Ibrahim Afifi.  He's an excellent, patient and engaging teacher, but he will only accept serious students who sincerely wish to master the traditional riqq techniques (money is no object when it comes to students who really want to learn); He lives in the Paris area, and travels worldwide.  He is fluent in Arabic, French and English.


Michel Merhej Baklouk

A legendary Lebenese master of the riqq, and a wonderful and exacting teacher.  Though Michel has retired from playing for the most part he still accepts some students.  Michel also teaches at Simon Shaheen's Arabic Music Retreat in Massachusetts every year(  He lives in Staten Island, New York.

Faisal Zedan

A wonderful Syrian percussionist and renown riqq player, Faisal is a very knowledgeable and supportive instructor, who is known for his mastery of the classical Arabic repetoire for riqq.  He lives in the San Francisco area and performs and teaches nationaly.  Faisal is also an instructor of darbekki at the Mendicino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp every summer.



Souhail Kaspar

 The master Lebanese darbekki player and teacher also plays, and teaches riqq.  At 16, he studied classical riqq and darbekki at Nadi al-Fonun al-Arabia (Conservatory of Traditional Arabic Music) in Aleppo, Syria, and though he has built his career as a darbekki player, his mastery of riqq technique makes him a very valuable and very knowlegeable teacher. Souhail currently lives in Southern California where he teaches classes weekly, and he also gives workshops internationally.



Tobias Roberson

One of the most amazing young drummers out there.  He was a student of Souhail Kaspar and a member of the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble throughout his teens, and his prodigious talents even then were extraordinary. He is a wonderful riqq player, and as many others here, is also an amazing performer on other instruments of Arabic percussion - and cahon, too. 

Most classes offered in Sebastopol, Santa Rosa (Sonoma) and Point Reyes (Marin), California. (Classes taught by Donation. No one turned away for lack of funds. Everyone is welcome to learn!)





Other Well Respected Teachers


Yousif Sheronick - New York Area -


Kareem Nagi - the Boston Area -


 Jamie Papish - Los Angeles area -