Meet the BSP Team
Eric Sooy - President and Founder
Eric is the Founder and President of Black Swamp Percussion. His lifelong hobby of instrument crafting began as a child, aided by his father and his well-appointed workshop. He earned a BM in Percussion Performance and a MM in Ethnomusicology from Bowling Green State University. His ethnomusicology studies took him on field research trips to Bali, Indonesia, and Ghana, West Africa. He was a percussionist in the Grand Rapids Symphony from 2001 to 2014. He's done a lot of other interesting things too, but keeps it a secret. His hobbies include bicycling and asking you what your favorite color is.
Tim Church - Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Tim has been working for Black Swamp Percussion full-time since 2000., after receiving a BM (Grand Valley State University) and MM (University of Akron) in percussion performance, Over the years, Tim has performed as an extra or freelance percussionist in a variety of musical situations around Michigan. Outside of managing sales, marketing, and Artist Relations for Black Swamp, Tim enjoys habitually watching Star Wars with his two daughters on the weekends.
Jamel Taylor - Vice President, Operations
Jamel brings a unique blend of leadership and creativity to the team and keeps the shop humming along as vice president and production manager at Black Swamp. A proud graduate of Wayne State University with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, Jamel started at Black Swamp and moved to West Michigan in 2006. Outside of the shop, Jamel enjoys podcasts, home improvement projects, and spending time with his wife and dogs.
Kristen Lucksted - Chief Financial Officer
Kristen is a results oriented CPA working independently with companies to grow and thrive in an ever-changing business environment. Kristen has worked with Black Swamp since 2009 and contributed in a role we call “An Outsourced CFO”. She has worked with different organizations for over 25 years, doing for us, just what she does for her other clients: Establishing internal controls, developing company policies, compiling financial statements, interpreting results, as well as communicating and educating us on all of this information.
Eric Peterson - Production Specialist
Eric started working with Black Swamp Percussion back in August of 2014. He is currently involved with the production and recording of Black Swamp products. Eric received his Bachelors in Music Performance from Western Michigan University, and his Masters in Music Performance from Northwestern University. He is currently Principal Percussionist of Holland Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with Grand Rapids Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Southwest Symphony, and Northwest Indiana Symphony. Eric just became a new homeowner, so when he isn’t working or performing he can be found installing gutters, building furniture, or working in the yard.
Nathan Coles - Branding and Media
Nathan joined the BSP team in September of 2016. He graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance. Nathan has been playing drums and performing since he was 11 years old and continues to perform with several West Michigan bands, play in pit orchestras, and compose original music. He also enjoys video and audio production and applying his creativity in new directions. While not working at Black Swamp or freelancing, Nathan often finds himself playing video games or spending time with his family.
Samuel Overman - Tambourine Technican
Samuel is the dedicated tambourine technician at our shop. He builds almost every tambourine that leaves our doors, and takes great pride in his work. Samuel is a graduate of Grace Bible College, where he earned a Bachelor's of Music and Worship Arts with a minor in Biblical Studies. He grew up in North Carolina and moved to Michigan for college. In his free time, Samuel enjoys reading, attending baseball games, and working on instruments. He is also a member of the band "The American Hotel System", playing guitar and violin.
Mak Mattis - Shipping Assistant & Customer Service
Mak is a shipping assistant and customer service representative at BSP. They earned a Bachelor of Arts in percussion from Grand Valley State University and an Associates degree in recording technology from Grand Rapids Community College. They are also a freelance drummer and an educator at School of Rock. When not working or performing they enjoy Premier League soccer and spending time with their partner and 4 cats.
Rosie - Office Dog
Rosie is Eric's dog. She is a Shih Tzu - Maltese - Coton de tulear mix. She likes to sit on his desk and look out the window.