Aloha 'oe, Tom Alexander of Volcano Percussion.


The percussion world has lost one of its master craftsman. Tom Alexander of Hawaii and Volcano Percussion, as he passed yesterday. Tom was suffering from cancer. The world has been made better by his life, and his legacy will live on in the beautiful drums he created and the music that will continue to be made by them.

I first came across Volcano Percussion drums when I lived in Kaimuki on the island of Oahu when I visited Harry's Music Store on Waialae Ave. I was just starting out in percussion. I remember how beautiful I thought they looked and of course they had an incredible sound that just put my Meinl Woodcraft bongos to shame. They were expensive drums that I was not able to afford, but they were worth every penny.

Tom Alexander was a true innovator in the construction of percussion instruments. He is the first and only to use the local Hawaiian hardwoods such as koa and monkey pod and mango. These woods not only gave Volcano Percussion drums their incredible sound but also a truly unique and wonderful appearance. Tom Alexander was previously a carpenter, as his bio states, and he brought advanced woodworking techniques to his drum building. Volcano is also noted for it's highly polished stainless steel hardware, which is very laborious to make and incredibly functional in the salty air and humidity of the Hawaiian Islands.

Over the years I came across other percussionists with examples of Tom's work, and I always took the chance to marvel at their beauty and sound. Lucky for us Volcano drums can still be heard and seen so Tom Alexander's vision, passion and craftsmanship will continue to bless us for many more years to come.



  1. I own 14 of Tom's drums. They are the most fantastic drums in my collection. The Super Boma that is in the photo above is one Tom made for me. I miss my conversations with Tom...Hammer

  2. Tom Alexander was in my opinion the World's finest craftsman of conga drums. And for me, one of the best friends in my life.

    If you got to know Tom, you would know the intensity and passion that he would put into anything he set his mind to, he was a true perfectionist and did everything to perfection.

    He will be missed by so many, and will live through so many that he touched. He has changed me for the better and that is the effect that Tom Alexander would have on people.

    His vision will continue and he will truly be missed as for me as a true friend and inspiration. Stay blessed my friend.
    Sonny Cruz

  3. Tom was a master craftsman and an innovator.he was a man of his word. He worked with pure passion and gave 100% to everything he turned his hand to.His instruments are the finest I have ever played and continue to play.His great spirit
    will live on through his great works of art and everything he has given the world.
    Vincent Salzfaas

  4. I never had the privaledge of knowing Tom,only his fine reputation from the Congaplace forum,and elsewhere.

    I will in the hopefully near future will be looking for a pair of top class conga drums,but where do you go after VOLCANO?

    best wishes to Toms family & friends

    Deepest Respect