Susie Ibarra

Image of Susie Ibarra

Susie Ibarra is known for her innovative style and cultural fluency as a composer, improviser, percussionist, and humanitarian.


As a composer/percussionist, Ibarra creates live and immersive music that explores rhythm, indigenous practices, and interaction with cities and the natural world. She is a Yamaha, Paiste, and Vic Firth drum artist and is a 2014 TED senior fellow. Her work includes Mirrors and Water, a composition and sonic installation commissioned for Ai Wei Wei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Signs at the sculpture trail of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming, 2015; Digital Sanctuaries, a modular music app walk that remaps cities with sanctuaries of music and engages with historical and cultural sites within a city, with music composed by Electric Kulintang and commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and City of Asylum Pittsburgh; Circadian Rhythms, commissioned for Earth Day 2013 at EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, inspired by endogenous rhythms for 80 percussionists and 8.1 surround sound of Macaulay Library recordings; The City, a Radio Radiance commission for Young Peoples Chorus of New York City; We Float, a 2014 commission by Ecstatic Music Festival with singer songwriter Mirah, a sonic retelling of space explorations; and The Cotabato Sessions, a digital music film and album that captures one family legacy of gong-chime kulintang music in Mindanao, Philippines.

Ibarra was a music faculty member at Bennington from 2012 to 2020, she also taught at the Elizabeth Coleman Center for Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) during that time. Her teaching at CAPA focused on her work in rebuilding cities with the arts, art intervention, and advocacy for human rights extended equally to women and girls.