Marassa Duo

Marassa Duo (James Armstrong & Nicholas Papador)


The Marassa Duo brings together a wide variety of percussion styles and musical genres into a concise and unified whole. The group’s original programming provides a unique chamber setting that includes elements of traditional concert music, world music, mallet percussion, jazz, and contemporary classical. The duo combines the talents of James Armstrong, a performer specializing in jazz, Afro-Caribbean and West African folkloric music and Nicholas Papador, a performer specializing in marimba as well as contemporary and orchestral concert music. The result is a ground breaking and exciting chamber music that opens new musical worlds to its audiences.

The duo takes its name from the Marassa Twins, divine twins of the Haitian Vodou tradition who speak to us of twin souls that find each other lifetime after lifetime to interact as their karma dictates. Also exemplifying the belief of opposition and duality within the mortal world, the Marassa Twins constitute one of the more perplexing entities of the Haitian religion, beginning with the point that there are sometimes three of them. As anthropologist Maya Deren wrote, “In Vodoun, one and one make three.” The Marassa are immensely powerful and are often interpreted as the “affirmation of cosmic unity.” 

Marassa Duo’s second album was released in late 2019.  Listen and/or order vinyl and cds here:



Listen to Marassa Duo’s debut self-titled CD here:


Marassa Duo meets Giovanni Hidalgo, 2006