Jazz composer David Rogers left his Missouri roots and his music conservatory training in the States to spend two years living in the home of master drummers in rural Ghana. Living in a thatch hut through dust storms and rain seasons, he studied the native drum language and history of the talking drum.

When he returned, he formed Imaginary Homeland with three other American musicians whose combined experience stretches from Ghana and Uganda to the hills of West Virginia and downtown New York. Marlene Rice's soaring violin and Matt Pavolka's acoustic bass find the string sound in each of these traditions, while percussionist Mark Stone drives the rhythm.

In their CD, Jump for George (Jumbie Records), Imaginary Homeland finds vivid connections between these and nearer American musical roots. The results will delight music lovers looking for a fresh sound rooted in the traditions of both Africa and the Americas.


"Visionary jazz and world-music… drenched in African rhythms, melodies and tonal colors."
- Hartford Courant

"Brilliant… speaks with loneliness and longing native to everyone."
- JazzReview

“Imaginary Homeland brings together African xylophone… and talking drums with New York jazz and Appalachian fiddle in [a] seemingly impossible fusion. But from the opening strains of ‘Kanawha Girl’ they had me hooked.”
- Dirty Linen Magazine

"An original, yet somehow deeply rooted, musical sound."
-- CDRoots


David Rogers - composer, saxophones, talking drums
Mark Stone - "African drumset," percussion, gyil (Ghanaian xylophone)
Marlene Rice - violin
Matt Pavolka - acoustic bass

Projects: Imaginary Homeland

This acoustic jazz quartet takes a global view, with talking drums, African rhythms, and fiddle music of the Sahara. Led by the "visionary jazz and world-music saxophonist" David Rogers (Hartford Courant), the band’s sound has been called “a fusion masterpiece” (AllAboutJazz).

Listen to Imaginary Homeland

Press Kit

Click here for Electronic Press Kit, including:
  • bios of band members
  • hi-res photos