Dr. Thomas M. Cimarusti, Musicologist

TTU World Music Ensembles

Founder/Director

As the son of Italian immigrants living in East Los Angeles,  I was exposed at an early age to a variety of world musics including mariachi, tango, and Italian folk songs. It was my father (an accomplished accordionist) and his passion for not only the folk music of Italy but all world music that would instill in me a desire to continue exploring global musics. Consequently, in 2003 while pursuing a Ph.D. in historical musicology at Florida State University, I founded and directed the FSU Italian Folk Music Ensemble, focusing primarily on a repertoire of Southern Italian folksongs taught to me by my father. These experiences led to the founding of TZUMBA!, TTU's 30+ member World Music Ensemble that performs the traditional musics from around the world. The ensemble currently owns over 50 instruments from around the globe, including indigenous instruments from Africa, China, Hawaii, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and others. In addition to musical traditions from these areas, the ensemble has performed selections of music from Bulgaria, Egypt, New Zealand, Poland, and Turkey. The ensemble continues to expand. Recently, three additional ensemblettes have developed under the TTU World Music Program: The TTU Mariachi Los Matadores, a Ballet Folklorico Ensemble, and the TTU Tango Camarata, all of which actively participate in university and community events. The newest additions to the TTU World Music Program include the TTU Mbira Group (Spring 2012,)  the TTU Zydeco Ensemble (2012), and the TTU Pop Music Group (2015).  Performance dates of all World Music Ensembles can be found under the calendar link. For additional information, please contact Dr. Thomas M. Cimarusti.