The Claytone™ Line


Now available from LP Music Group

Frank Giorgini, considered the designer of the modern UDU DRUM, first learned the little-known traditional art of making the all-clay side hole pot drum from Abbas M. Ahuwan of Zaria, Nigeria in 1974. Over the years he developed many design innovations, clay body formulas, and firing techniques that have improved the sound quality, durability, and versatility of this instrument. As demand for these innovative new clay drums increased Frank adapted the traditional hand forming techniques by making molds of his original designs. Then by pouring a liquid clay slip into the plaster molds (a process called slip casting) consistent quality drums could be produced in greater volume and in less time. Before he implemented these modern production methods Frank made a pilgrimage to Nigeria to confer with Abbas about diverging from tradition. Abbas gave Frank his blessing to pursue these innovations adding "things must adapt to the modern world or they will be left behind and lost forever ... just try to do it with respect and integrity." True to Abbas's wishes, Frank succeeded in producing a line of molded clay drums that are of a quality befitting their formidable ancestry.

This new line of clay drums was named CLAYTONE. The line consisted of four sizes of the molded version of the traditional shaped UDU called CLAYTONE #1, #2, #3, and #4, the KIM KIM, TAMBUTA, UTAR, UDONGO, MBWATA, and HADGINI. The HADGINI drum is the result of a collaboration between Frank Giorgini and percussionist Jamie Haddad.

The goal of the CLAYTONE line was to produce a high quality instrument, at an accessible price, for a wider audience of percussionists. This objective was reached so successfully that in 1998 the production rights to the CLAYTONELINE of UDU DRUMS was licensed to LP Music Group, one of the worlds leading hand percussion companies. This collaboration has yielded the finest instruments of their type commercially available at very accessible prices.