Rosario Carelli
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Rosario Carelli was born in New York City amidst the hustle and bustle of a large traditional Italian family, the second oldest of seven Rosario learned early on in life about responsibility and taking care of things. One of his first real jobs was working in his father’s clothing business on 47th St & Broadway. His father was a tailor and clothing designer for many of the big names in the movie, music and sports industry of the time. Under his father’s watchful eye, Rosario acquired some of the skills and sensitivities he would use later on in life.

After participating fully in the musical, political and spiritual awakening of the 60’s, with a detour in the military service, then two years of studying fine arts at Western Carolina University, and a few odd jobs here and there, Rosario broke loose and hit the road for a while, traveling extensively throughout the United States, Europe, the Mid-East and Africa.

With his wanderlust temporary quenched Rosario returned to finish his studies and graduatedfrom Western Carolina University in 1983 where he earned a degree in Recreation with an emphasis in Therapeutic and Adventure education. While earning his degree Rosario honedhis skills in climbing, mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, skiing and photography, all the whileworking as the Outdoor program director for the university student center.

During Rosario’s ten-year career as an international traveler, outdoor adventurer, Therapeutic education facilitator and instructor, Rosario was led to Nepal to play in the Big Ones, the Himalayas. Fulfilling one of his lifetime dreams. Once there he developed a strong love and respect for the indigenous peoples, their culture and their arts and crafts. Integrating his own clothing, fabric, and jewelry designing talents with those of the peoples of Nepal he created an import business that took him to Asia twice a year.

Mixing business with pleasure Rosario spent his off time trekking, climbing, boating, biking and traveling through out India, Nepal and Tibet. While at the same time running an import wholesale business and two retail stores, “Village Hands” and “Folklore” located in Asheville, North Carolina.

His main inspiration is Nigerian drum master Babatunde Olatunji. Rosario had the great fortune to travel around the country with Baba, assisting him in many drum workshops and events. As a result of this, Rosario found drumming to be a powerful and effective therapeutic tool, which he now uses in the same settings that he did when he taught adventure education therapy. Thus was created “Ashiko, Drums of Freedom” which eventually evolved into “We Are The Drum”. It has been a full circle and an amazing journey along the way.

In 1999 Rosario co-created and directed Wind horse Camps, a multi-cultural music, dance, crafts, adventure and healing arts camp with an emphasis on community.

In 2001 Rosario spent the winter in Puerto Rico, sharing the West-African style of drumming, and learning some of the local traditions and rhythms. Returned to Ashville, No Carolina, and traveled between there and New Mexico until 2005, when he spent the winter in Mexico


Rosario travels wherever the drum take him, but generally winters in Mexico and spends his summers in New Mexico and Colorado, where he works locally, teaching open drum classes, and teaching in schools, summer camps and therapeutic facilities.

Since 2008 Rosario has been spending winters in Oaxaca, Mexico, teaching the drum in schools, therapeutic setting and to the general public, plus drumming for local African dance classes and performing with some of the local drummers.

He also went to Australia for a season and had a wonderful experience spreading the drum and enoying life with the fine people there.

Rosario was asked to teach drumming as part of the, Smithsonian Institute " American Music Heritage" exhibit, American Roots Music.

Rosario taught at a seven week  "Music Rocks" Summer camp through Leaping Lizards Preschool in Taos, NM

Taught a series of classes through the University of New Mexico, continuing Education Summer Camp, in Albuquerque, NM.

Shared the drum at several Music Festivals. Crestone Music Festival, Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, Lake Eden Arts Festival, New Mexico State fair.

While in Mexico Rosario kept a full schedule with the drum, teaching two adult classes a week, one in Todos Santos on the Pacific side of the peninsula and another one in Los Barriles on the Sea of Cortez side.

In addition to these open adult classes, Rosario worked with special needs adults and children through an organization called: Buenos Suenos Fundacion para Ninos con Necesidad Especiales, AC. These were clients with a wide variety of abilities and disabilities, both mental and physical. To Rosario this was the most fulfilling and enjoyable work while in Baja.

Rosario also taught drum classes once a week through Dra. Maria Montessori School in Los Barriles, teaching children from kindergarten through second grade. These classes were bi-lingual, using an interpreter at times.

Other gigs included classes at: Yandara Yoga Center. Cerritos Beach. This is a yoga teachers training center.

Performances at Los Adobes, with drum students. Also drummed at numerous community gatherings, local events and festivals.

The reception that Rosario and the drums received while in Baja, Mexico was amazing. His students were dedicated and talented and the energy created was very powerful.

Community and global conciousness.