I am a drummer, composer, improviser, and educator. My work is animated by a lifelong fascination with rhythm, space, and a drum-based sensibility for melody and energy.
I was born and raised in the Seattle area, and studied with Ed Blackwell, Bill Lowe, Bill Barron, Robert O'Meally, and the writer Annie Dillard when I was at Wesleyan University in the 1980s. In those years I played with a diverse assortment of musicians including Brad Mehldau, Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Thomas Chapin, Joe Fonda, Mario Pavone, Wes Brown, David Bindman, Dicky Wells, Chris Lightcap, Matt Moran, Paul Flaherty, Michael Attias, Anthony Braxton, Jackie McLean, and Wadada Leo Smith.
I also work in genres and formats that fall outside what's typically considered jazz. My Earth Solos are an ongoing series (initially inspired by Robert Smithson's Six Mirror Displacements) of outdoor, site-specific drum set improvisations performed and photographed in desert, mountain, and industrial settings in the western US. I make electro-acoustic sound collages using field recordings and percussion samplesthese have accompanied dances by Heather Kravas and Sheri Cohen at DTW, Oberlin College, and Seattle. I've also done street theater in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico, among other things.
As a freelance educator I have led nearly 1,000 junk percussion workshops and residencies in the US and Central America, in prisons, schools, theaters, Indian reservations, museums, and elsewhere. For six months in 2000 I was 'Millennium Project' Artist-in-Residence with the Oneida Nation on their reservation in Wisconsin. I was a roster artist-in-residence with the Washington State Arts Commission for four years, and since 2002 I have taught composition in the NYC public schools via the Manhattan New Music Project, Carnegie Hall Weill Institute, and others.
Recent projects as a leader:
Performing as a soloist using floor tom and various objects
Content Provider a horn + drums quartet with Peter Evans, Briggan Krauss, Chris Speed.
KJOSA featuring Kyoko Kitamura (vocal/laptop), Jane Rigler (flutes/laptop), Jason Kao Hwang (violin/viola), Oscar Noriega (clarinet/bass clarinet), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), and myself.
Other recent bands & projects:
Jason Kao Hwang's EDGEJKH (violin/viola/composer), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet/flugelhorn), Ken Filiano (bass).
Jason Kao Hwang's Burning Bridge JKH (violin/viola/composer), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Ken Filiano (bass), me (drums), Steve Swell (trombone), Joseph Daley (tuba), Sun Li (pipa), Wang Guo-wei (erhu).
Jason Kao Hwang's Spontaneous Rivera 35+ member string orchestra with drum set.
TOTEM> Bruce Eisenbeil (guitar), Tom Blancarte (bass), me (drums)
IRON DOG Sarah Bernstein (violin/electronics), Stuart Popejoy (bass/electronics), me (drums)
10^32K, a trio with Kuumba Frank Lacy (tbn/flugelhorn), Kevin Ray (bass), me (drums). J.D. Parran and Elliott Sharp play with us too.