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Joseph Gramley (Percussionist)


Lauded by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "a Heifetz of themarimba," multi-percussionist Joseph Gramley grew up in Oregon and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts as a high-school senior in 1988. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and also attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Tanglewood Institute and Salzburg Mozarteum.

Gramley made his concerto debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra after winning their National Soloist Competition, and made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 1994. After graduate studies at the Juilliard School in New York, he performed with the Ethos Percussion Group throughout the U. S. and Europe.
An invitation from Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 led Gramley to join Mr. Ma's Silk Road Project. He has toured with Mr. Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble throughout North America, Europe and Asia, performing in the world?s finest concert halls.

Along the way, Gramley has studied percussion styles and instruments from around the globe, collaborating with internationally-renowned musicians from India, Iran, China, Japan, Korea and Central Asia.

Gramley's performances as a soloist have garnered critical acclaim and enthusiasm from emerging composers, percussion aficionados and first-time concert-goers alike. He is committed to bringing fresh and inventive compositions to a broad public, and each year he commissions and premieres a number of new works. His first solo recording, American Deconstruction, appeared in 2000. His second recording, Global Percussion has just been released on Towerhill Recordings.
Joseph Gramley is director of the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, an intensive program for high-school students held at Lincoln Center in New York City. He performs exclusively on SABIAN and Black Swamp Percussion instruments.


What critics and presenters say of Joseph Gramley:

"Not only an exciting two-hour musical adventure, but also a startling clear
insight for me into what makes a live performance good, and why good live
performances are important for us....passion, technical mastery, and
precision...two young musicians doing what they clearly love--making music,
not just for themselves, but for us as well." (The Granite State News,
Wolfeboro NH) (Organized Rhythm, Organ/Percussion duo)

"Just awesome, and a great attendance." (Paul Reynolds, Chattanooga TN,
presenter) (Organized Rhythm, Organ/Percussion duo)

"I can't begin to express how thrilled we were with Joseph Gramley's performance." (Laura Voss, Stratford Academy, Macon GA, presenter, 2003)

"A stupendous performance filled with energy and charm. He had the audience captivated." (Allan S. Hoke, Messiah Lutheran Church, Knoxville TN, presenter, 2003)

"The students were transfixed! He does a terrific job relating, answering questions and explaining the instruments. He's a natural!"
(Dennis McCleary, Macon GA, presenter, 2003)

"Gramley brought bashfully young looks and athleticism as marimba soloist. After a triumphant appearance before 1,700-plus students on Friday, he [now] won a standing ovation from the adults. Never think again of the percussionist as only a snare drummer. Gramley's repertoire of 'shake, scratch and thrash' (his words) covers a range of instruments that is remarkable and justified alongside the symphony divas of piano and string. His necessary encore was 'The Flight of the Bumble Bee' (what else?)."
The Herald, New Britain, Connecticut, 2002

"Marimba Spiritual (is) expertly played by Joseph Gramley"
Terry O' Mahoney -Percussive Notes Magazine Vol. 35 No.2 April 1997

"Wu-Man's (playing) was astonishing, as was that of percussionist Joseph Gramley."
Pasatiempo, New Mexico Weekly - 6/9/00
'The Silver River' Premiere at the Spoleto Festival/USA

"...Percussion wizard Joseph Gramley...has become a hit, particularly with younger fans."
Times-News, Burlington NC

"...Gifted percussionist Joseph Gramley, playing a formidable battery of instruments, required athletic as well as musical ability to manage this one-man band....the overall effect was attention-grabbing and memorable."
The Post and Courier, Charleston SC

"We were all delighted with Joseph Gramley's stunning success in Bozeman....A superbly gifted musical thinker and inspiring performer...charmed the audience. Bravo Gramley!"
(Matthew Savery, Music Director, Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, MT 2003)

"...his range of strokes, variety of colour and precision of four-mallet technique (were) striking."
The Musical Opinion, London, England

"...a Heifetz of the marimba."
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

"...brilliant performance...mallet stroke was finely pointed, but tastefully light... rhythmically and technically very secure...a very sensitive interpretation of the music."
The Houston Post, Houston, Texas

"...an amazing marimba virtuoso."
Buffalo Times, Buffalo, New York

"...warmly expressive slow playing."
Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas

"...an amazing marimba solo...adept, effective, and dazzling."
The New Britain Herald, New Britain, Connecticut

"...American De-Construction by multi-percussionist Joseph Gramley consists of some of the major compositions written for percussion.... This is an excellentCD. Gramley's performance is musical, accurate, intense and filled with interest. "The Anvil Chorus" has intensity and drive. "Nagoya Marimbas" has the rhythmic interest that Steve Reich intended. "Meditation Preludes" has a meditative quality. "Rhythm Song" has a smooth rhythmic feel, and "Cold Pressed" has a groove not unlike a great drumset solo."
Percussive Notes Magazine-The Journal of the the Percussive Arts Society, December 2001

"...A unique performance by an extraordinary artist."
Wilma Colon, Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music 2002

"...He performs like a real 'pro' and has a delightful stage presence."
Robert B. King, First Presbyterian Church, Burlington NC, presenter 2002

"...The audience responded enthusiastically, and his technique and musicality were obvious. I was especially taken by his music on the marimba. He was graceful, expressive--he floated. He is one with his instrument."
Alisa Bohon, White Marsh VA, presenter 2002

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