Larry Mahlis

Larry Mahlis is a drummer/percussionist with over 20 years professional experience and is known as an original and versatile voice on drum set and percussion. He has performed numerous times in clubs and concerts and has appeared on a number of recordings in addition to film and TV soundtrack work. Larry has performed in the US, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

Since 1997 Larry has been an instructor at the Seattle Drum School. While at the Drum School Larry has taught beginning to advanced orchestral and rudimental snare, drum set in all styles; jazz, rock, funk, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern and even applications of North Indian Tabla to drum set. Larry also teaches North Indian Tabla, Middle Eastern Frame drums, Darabukka and beginning Conga, Djembe, Timpani and Mallets.

Larry’s students have played in Roosevelt High’s jazz ensembles, are currently attending the Berklee College of Music, jazz ensemble at Berkley (bay area) and are involved in local solo and ensemble festivals as well as playing in local bands at venues around the city.

Larry’s passion for drumming and warmth spills over into his abilities as a teacher. Larry constantly strives to connect with each student by creating a fun and nurturing environment. It is in this fun and nurturing environment where the student’s potential is revealed and polished.


New to drumming and to WA, I discovered SDS on Groupon. Now my 8-yr old niece and I take weekly hand drumming lessons with our beloved teacher Larry. Ella plays the conga and I the doumbek. How can I describe the magic that ensues in each lesson? Witnessing Ella play a beat full through that’s twisted her hands and brain (and even made her cross-eyed a time or two) is like watching her take her very first baby steps all over again. It’s absolutely hold-your-breath EXHILARATING! Larry creates a teaching style in the moment to suit each student and proffers plenty of beginner drum wisdom along the way. Like a rhythm watches you…waiting for the moment after enough practice and sleep on it to grace you, flow through you. It also graces your brain and you hear yourself saying things like dum ka ta KA ta ka dum ka. Thank you SDS for giving these drummer girls their wings! One more thing! Your drum teacher will also be a performing artist. Seeing Larry perform live is a total thrill! I’ve never seen Ella’s eyes so big as when Larry came on stage in the bright lights at a church in downtown Seattle to play a Jethro Tull tribute. She was the youngest member of the audience by far and likely the most stoked!


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