Eddie Ade Knowles

Eddie Ade Knowles

Professor of Practice

Photo of Eddie Ade KnowlesPhoto of Eddie Ade Knowles

Eddie Ade Knowles

Professor of Practice

  • Ph.D., University of Albany
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • B.A., Lincoln University

Eddie Ade Knowles is an accomplished musician with over 40 years of performance, residency, workshop, and recording credits as a percussionist. His artistic focus is on African and Afro-Cuban music and dance. He has performed and/or recorded with the Dinizulu Dancers, Drummers and Singers; Amagagu ka Shaka South African Dance and Music Company; The Simba Dancers and Drummers; Kim & Reggie Harris; Caribe Mambo; Gil-Scott Heron and the Midnight Band; and The Original Last Poets. Knowles was also the co-founder and artistic managing director of the Griot Dance Company and The New African Music Collective.

“For over 45 years I have been a student of African, Afro-Cuban, and New World percussion,” Knowles said. “This academic and artistic journey has infused my inner being with a sense of the importance of connecting with the rhythms of my mind, the rhythms of my body, and the rhythms of my work with students as an Artist Educator. I have come to realize that helping my students get in touch with the rhythms of their lives is an important window into understanding how they approach their being as individuals and members of a community. So, the focus of my work is on helping students learn to appreciate the significance of rhythm in their daily lives and to embrace the important synergy that exists between the drum, science, technology, and the arts. The drum is the nexus: the medium for communication, healing, and celebrating life.”

 In 2004, he founded and serves as Artistic Director of Ensemble Congeros, a group of Rensselaer alums and current students dedicated to the study and performance of Afro-Cuban, African, and New World percussion. Ensemble Congeros was founded as an outgrowth of the interest and passion of Rensselaer students who successfully completed Knowles' course. Inspired by the experience and window into the social and religious music of Cuban Congeros, several graduates convinced him to continue to nurture and guide their sustained interest in "chasing the rhythms." Congeros are known for their commitment to rhythm and the drum as the medium for communication.

For 3 consecutive years, Knowles received the prestigious honor of Artist in Residence through the New York State Foundation for the Arts. In 1996, Knowles was accepted for a residency in Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music at the Banff Center for the Arts, Alberta Canada. He has many years of service as a member of the board of directors of the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, as past president, vice president, and chair of the program committee. In 1995, Knowles was selected by Metroland, a regional arts publication, as a "Local Hero." This honor is "an annual tribute to area residents who make a difference." Knowles is listed in Who's Who in the East, Who's Who Among Black Americans, and Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Contact info:
Office number: West Hall322
Phone number: 518.276.8629
Fax number: 518.276.4370
Email Address: knowle@rpi.edu