Lisette Santiago

Beat the Donkey

Lisette Santiago is a multi-instrumentalist who began singing at the age of four. When she was nine years old, she auditioned and was accepted into the Children’s Metropolitan Choir. 

Lisette later pursued her musical studies at the famed LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts, and while at Columbia University, received vocal coaching as part of a Columbia–Juilliard joint program. 

A daughter of Puerto Rican parents, Lisette’s primary musical experience was rooted in Latin music. Lisette began learning hand percussion in her youth and later went on to study drum kit. She has studied Afro-Cuban percussion with great masters in Cuba and in New York, and currently plays Batá and congas. As well as her exploration of Cuban rhythms and songs, Lisette has immersed herself into the world of Brazilian music, singing and playing percussion in several Brazilian bands. 

Lisette is currently residing in Brooklyn and performs and teaches in and out of the US. As a performer, Lisette plays in bands ranging in musical styles and is a member of the popular group, Beat the Donkey; led by the Grammy award winning percussionist, Cyro Baptista. 

Lisette is currently working in new projects (Warixe, Brasil Underground, Chico Mann) in which she is experimenting with electronic music, vocals, percussion, and theremin.


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Lisette Santiago on LP Bata Drums
Lisette Santiago w/ Junko Partners
Lisette Santiago sings Afro Blue and play three Batá @ Linco
Pardon Our Analysis: Gil Scott Heron @Symphony Space 1/14/20