sounds, rhythms/riddims of his upbringing on Sapelo Island, Darien/McIntosh
County and Savannah resonate with the remarkable history and experience of Gullah/Geechee
culture. The songs, drum rhythms and movements taught to him by his mother (drummer,
teacher) Sadie B. Pleasant underscore his life long exposure to this polyrhythmic
heritage that incorporates music, movement, theater, art, poetry and rhythm
in everyday life.
Pleasant has worked with a number of Grassroots and Jazz legends that include: Charles Gayle, Oliver Lake, Cecil Taylor, Daniel Carter, Leroy Campbell, William Parker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Greg Bandy, Reggie Workman, Christian Mc Bride, Don Byron, Jack DeJonnette, Larry Riddley, Cooper-Moore, Sirone, Peter Erskine, Mark Johnson, Craig Harris, the Muppets, Duma Nlovu, Cederic Brooks, Amina Claudine Myers, Jamie Anthony Braxton, Matt Schulman, Harry Belefonte, Paul Simon, Arrested Development, Fred Ho, Jayne Cortez, hattie gossett, Step Afrika!, Batoto Yetu, Ron Brown, Dianne McIntyre, Marlise Yearby, Sekou Sundiata, Savannah Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes (education), Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble, El Piccolo del Opera Orchestra, Essential Music.
Pleasant is a Fulbright Senior Specialist who presents his work at universities and institutions worldwide. He is also a critically acclaimed, award-winning composer/performer and soloist who has worked with Tony and Grammy Award artists such as: Audra McDonald, Regina Taylor, Graciela Daniel, Paul Simon, Jonathan Tunic, Wynton Marsalis, Michael John LaChiusa, Erykah Badu and others.
Gullah/Geechee culture has influenced over 25 years of Pleasant's work which has been featured from Broadway to television to dance. Pleasant's collaborations with major choreographers and companies such as Jawole Zollar (Urban Bush Women), Ron Brown, Dianne McIntyre, Jane Comfort, Padro Harris, Marlise Yearby, Abdel Salaam (Forces of Nature), Batoto Yetu, Step Afrika! and others support his belief in high artistic standards and educational relevance.
Pleasant has been a featured performer and/or consultant for: ABC Nightline; Disney Channel; the Today Show; Reading Rainbow (PBS); ABC Evening News; CBS The Early Show; ABC Good Morning America; Essence Awards; Brave New World (ABC) and numerous PBS showings. As a guest speaker at NYU's Jazz Symposium; Columbia University's Jazz Symposium; International Association of Jazz Educators; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Lincoln Center Master Improvisors series, he is the first percussionist to bridge early Low Country forms to contemporary music formats.
David Pleasant's African American Root Rhythms Riddimic Exercise book
"Africans gave us a way to see the multi-layered authenticity of human experience through polyrhythm and syncopation. That gift allows us to realize a daily connection to the essential motion of all things." - David Pleasant