Author: Los Angeles Marimba Institute

James Waterman reviews our newest design, the Marimba Institute’s 3 Octave Travel Marimba.

We recently connected with James Waterman, a great LA percussionist, performer and educator out of CalArts who plays with the Dhara World Music Ensemble and many others, who came by the shop and gave our new design a go.  Hear what he has to say about it in this video.

The Marimba Institute’s 3 octave travel Marimba is a space-saving easily portable marimba that is unique not only in it’s convenience, but in it’s uncompromising of quality.  The bars are graduated from 2″- 1.75″ – 1.5″ and the range is F3 – F6. Great for professional performance as well as students looking to buy their first instrument, this marimba is a wonderful addition to any mallet players life. Available with pure resonators for classical playing, or buzzing resonators for players in the Central American or African styles.

Lauren Kosty reviews the Institute’s 2.3-octave chromatic “Masanga” marimba.

Just around the holidays, our hometown friend and percussionist Lauren Kosty ( was in town from London and she the took time out of her busy schedule to come by and play on our recently finished 2-octave chromatic marimba we call “Masanga” and tell us what she thinks of it…and then we went for tea.  🙂

         I’ve paraphrased her review below, but it’s better if you just watch the video so you can properly hear the instrument and check out what Lauren has to say.

“I love it, I mean it’s got a really nice bar width… the spacing is really nice, it’s resonant… and it’s just a smart instrument, in terms of being able to store it, move it, the legs fold right up so you can put it in the corner… and it fits in the back of a car which is really nice for a mallet instrument.”



Blog Launch, and Tabletop Marimbas!

Blog Launch, and Tabletop Marimbas!

Hello Marimba world! I’ve finally made to building the site for the Los Angeles Marimba Institute’s web launch.  I’ve spent years as an arranger and multi-instrumentalist and the assistant director of the Masanga Marimba Ensemble ( and I’ve recently begun teaching and building Marimbas as well!  Some others from Masanga Marimba have been instrumental in helping the effort including Scott Murphy and over in Houston, TX Andy Keller. (  In the upcoming months, I’ll be doing my best to bring to a small corner of the web information, music, and good times based around music and marimbas, in the hopes that I can further share the joy that they have brought me with some of you fans and friends out there.

Here is some of the work I’ve done to get things started. Pictured below is LAMI’s flagship design, the Tabletop Marimba.  Built with modular basics to keep a low barrier to entry and low cost for beginners, the Tabletop Design allows the player to buy Marimbas for themselves or their children in easily manageable chunks, adding other piecessuch as legs, a box resonator, or replacement bars after the fact. (replacement bars are also offered in different pitches for playing in different Keys.)

Tabletop Marimba design – Oak Bars

Mba No Legs

Tabletop Marimba design w/ swivel legs and stained frame – Maple Bars

Mba Legs