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Eric LaPerna is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in Middle Eastern hand drums and stringed instruments, and has been a performing musician for over 30 years. He has performed with many of Maine's most celebrated artists and ensembles, including the DaPonte String Quartet and the late Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, as well as world renowned musicians, Ross Daly and Mal Barsamian. Eric is a Bates College faculty member and the director of the Bowdoin College Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, the Maine Middle Eastern Orchestra and the Portland Conservatory of Music Middle Eastern Ensemble, and is a founding member of Okbari and Maine Middle Eastern Ensemble. He also has a busy performance schedule, teaches Middle Eastern percussion workshops, private lessons, and has been featured on over 30 albums.
Musical Education
Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian - Study of Turkish, Greek and Armenian rhythmic systems and musical forms.
Arabic Music Retreat - Study of Classical Arabic music.
Michel Merhej Baklouk -  Study of Classical Arabic percussion.
Ali Jihad Racy - Study of the Arabic nay (reed flute).
Bassam Saba - Study of the Arabic nay, Arabic melodic modes (maqam'at) and the art of improvisation (taqsim).
Alani Ogunlade - Study of West African rhythms and drum techniques.
Skip Burney - Study of Afro Cuban rhythms and drum techniques.
Current Ensembles

Maine Middle Eastern Ensemble - Artistic director and oud player.


Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble - Founding member and percussionist.


Maine Middle Eastern Orchestra - Founder, director and percussionist.

Portland Conservatory of Music Middle Eastern Ensemble - Founder, director, oud and saz player.


Bowdoin Middle Eastern Ensemble - Director and oud player.


Shavarsh Trio - Artistic director, oud and lavta player.

Maine Kef Ensemble - Artistic director and oud player.

Seyir Duo - Lavta, nay, saz player and percussionist.

Middle Eastern String Trio - Artistic director, lavta player.


Choro Louco - Percussionist.


Casco Bay Tummlers - Percussionist.


Bedlam and Eunioa - Percussionist

Time Zones - Percussionist.

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