Music Ryan Mullin. Zach Boyden-Holmes/Juice.

Ryan Mullin. Zach Boyden-Holmes/Juice.

Three questions with Ryan Mullin

Published on September 17th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

Ryan Mullin, 38, is the drummer for Parranderos and Salsa Vibe, which perform at 6 and 8 p.m. respectively Friday at the World Food and Music Festival in the East Village.

Q: How did you get involved with playing world music?

I grew up in Des Moines, but moved to Tampa after high school and found inspiration in a Latin jazz club there. I played guitar and sang at that time and was always open to new styles of music. I got into Cuban percussion in Tampa, and seven or eight years later went to the Los Angeles Music Academy to study African, South American and Brazilian music. I’m always looking for something new and someone interesting to play with.

Q: How did Parranderos come together?

When my wife and I moved back here about six years ago we started a group called Los Saltinos that played at Star Bar every Wednesday. The group’s lineup changed and grew over the years, so Parranderos started as an idea for a smaller group to play more intimate folk music that was different from the big New York style salsa. Now we’re up to a 12- or 13-piece group.

Q: You’re also music director for Toque music. What does that role involve?

Basically, developing groups. My wife and I started Toque Music in 2010 with the idea of organizing musicians. My role is to be a motivator, maybe. I help with booking, own the sound equipment and yell at everybody on stage to make sure we’re playing correctly. I push everything forward.

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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