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Born and raised in rural Iowa in the central United States, in 1992 he received a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. There he was exposed to a very cosmopolitan musical atmosphere with students coming from all corners of the globe. He studied percussion and drums under professor Jamey Haddad and was exposed to various hand drumming techniques from India, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Brazil. In 1995 he received a grant to study South Indian drumming techniques with Trichy Sankaran at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Upon graduation in 1996 he moved to New York City, subsequently performing and recording in a variety of contemporary and traditional music formations. In 1999 he began working with the Rabih Abou-Khalil Group, shortly thereafter relocating to Europe where he has been actively touring and teaching throughout the continent. He works closely with Eckermann Drums in Vienna, Austria, designing frame drums and drum sets. He has traveled and done extensive field studies in the Middle East and North and West Africa, which has produced a unique percussion & drum set performance style.
Presently he shuffles his time between Istanbul and Western Europe. He is a percussionist for the internationally acclaimed singer Sezen Aksu from Turkey, and as well is a resident instructor at the State Conservatory of Music in Istanbul. In 2010 his rhythmic training method One by One and accompanying composition 5 vor 7 vor 6 was published by Ensemble Modern Media. Other performing and recording credits include collaborations with Fahir Atakoğolu, Erkan Oğur, Derya Türkan, Bekir Ünlüataer, Joachim Kühn, Gvork Dabaghyan, Charlie Mariano, Michel Godard, Gabriele Mirabassi, Luciano Biondini, Ricardo Ribeiro, Dusko Goykovich, Mehmet Emin Bitmez, Kudsi Erguner, Jean-Luc Fillion, Dalia Faitelson, Ferenç Snetberger, Dave Bargeron, Antonio Hart, Howard Levy, Joe Beck, & Dave Samuels. He is also a guest artist with the Ensemble Modern and The Next Step Percussion Group, and has been a featured soloist with the BBC Orchestra, the Macedonian Symphony Orchestra, and the Bundesjungendorchester from Germany. Mr. Cagwin conducts rhythmic training workshops for musicians and dancers, as well as frame drum and drum set clinics across Europe.