Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Anaheim, California
Band: Susie Ibarra Trio
Genres: Jazz, Avant-Garde, Kulintang
Instruments: Drums, Percussion
Occupation: Musician, Composer



Although Susie Ibarra is best known as a jazz drummer, she is also an accomplished composer of jazz, opera, experimental, and avant-garde music. Susie Ibarra incorporates unique elements into her play, including southeast Asian gong, avant-garde, improvisation, gamelan, and kulintang.

Susie Ibarra was born in Anaheim, California, to Filipino parents. She grew up outside of Houston, Texas, playing the piano as a child and the drums for a punk band in high school. A Sun Ra performance sparked Susie Ibarra's interest in jazz and she hasn't turned her back on it since then.

Susie Ibarra earned a diploma in music from Mannes College of Music in New York City and a bachelor's degree from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. As a part of her education, Susie Ibarra studied kulintang with Danongan Kalanduyan and drum set with Buster Smith, Vernel Fournier, and Milford Graves. Susie Ibarra has given back to drum education as the artist in residence at The Walker Art Center, Mills College, Bard College, Swarthmore College, Fundacio Joan Miro, University of Michigan, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, and The New School.

Susie Ibarra has performed with John Zorn, Dave Douglas Pauline Oliveros, Derek Bailey, Ikue Mori, Sylvie Courvoisier, William Parker, Dr. L Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, John Lindberg, Wadada Leo Smith, Mark Dresser, Thurston Moore, Savath and Savalas, Prefuse 73, and Yo La Tengo.

Most recently Susie Ibarra performed solo and with the Susie Ibarra Trio with Jennifer Choi & Craig Taborn; Mephista, a collective electro-acoustic trio with Sylvie Couvoisier & Ikue Mori; Shapechanger with poet Yusef Komunyakaa; Mark Dresser & Susie Ibarra Duo; Mundo Ninos childrenís music; Filipino trance music with Roberto Rodriguez; and Electric Kulintang.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1996 Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy William Parker/In Order to Survive
1996 Knitting Factory Presents What is Jazz? Festival 1996 Various Artists
1996 Shekhina Assif Tsahar Trio
1996 What Is Jazz? 1996 Various Artists
1997 Sunrise in the Tone World The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra
1997 Vision One: Vision Festival 1997 Compiled Various Artists
1997 Wisdom of Uncertainty David S. Ware Quartet
1998 Drum Talk Susie Ibarra & Denis Charles
1998 Go See the World David S. Ware
1998 Godspelized David S. Ware
1998 Home Cookin' Susie Ibarra & Assif Tsahar
1998 Multiplication Table Matthew Shipp Trio
1998 Peach Orchard William Parker/In Order to Survive
1998 Posium Pendasem William Parker/In Order to Survive
1998 Sof Assif Tsahar Trio
1999 Daedal Derek Bailey & Susie Ibarra
1999 Hollow World Assif Tsahar's Brass Reeds Ensemble
1999 Incomplete Directions Steve Dalachinsky
1999 New Communities of Sound Various Artists
1999 Radiance Susie Ibarra Trio
2000 And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out Yo La Tengo
2000 Flower After Flower Susie Ibarra
2000 Pain Pen Eugene Chadbourne
2000 Saturday Yo La Tengo
2001 El Trilogy Dave Douglas
2001 Gongol Ori Kaplan Percussion Ensemble
2002 Black Narcissus Mephista
2002 Cobra: John Zorn's Game Pieces, Vol. 2 John Zorn
2002 Danzon de Moises Roberto Juan Rodriguez
2002 Nuclear War Yo La Tengo
2002 Passaggio Sylvie Courvoisier/Joelle Leandre/Susie Ibarra
2002 Songbird Suite Susie Ibarra
2003 And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out Yo La Tengo
2003 Dreaming Awake New Circle Five
2003 Ruminations Upon Ives and Gottschalk John Lindberg
2003 Tone Time Susie Ibarra & Mark Dresser
2003 Voices in the Wilderness John Zorn
2004 50th Birthday Celebration, Vol. 8 Wadada Leo Smith/Susie Ibarra/John Zorn
2004 Entomological Reflections Mephista
2004 Folkloriko Susie Ibarra
2004 Irving Stone Memorial Concert Various Artists
2004 Lake Biwa Wadada Leo Smith Creative Orchestra
2005 Live in the World David S. Ware
2005 Winter Birds John Lindberg
2007 Drum Sketches Susie Ibarra
2008 Sucker Punch Requiem Lisle Ellis
2012 Ten Freedom Summers Wadada Leo Smith


  • Village Voice, Down Beat, and The Wire all nominated Susie for Best Drummer.
  • Jazziz Magazine named Susie the New Talent of the Year in 1997.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Yamaha
Cymbals: Paiste
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips