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Jojo began his drumming career at 18, touring with Monty Alexander's group, playing major jazz festivals throughout Europe. This lead to back-up gigs with other jazz-greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone and introduced him to an international audience.
Jojo Mayer has performed and / or recorded with a great variety of artists covering a wide range of musical styles such as The Screaming Headless Torsos, Meshell N'degeocello, Vernon Reid's science project, DJ Spooky, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Harry Pepl, Gerald Veasley, Lunar Crush, John Zorn, Chico Freeman, George Adams John Medeski, Hiram Bullock, Leni Stern, Depart, Wolfgang Puschnigg, Friedrich Gulda, Harry Sokal, Steve Coleman's 5 Elements, Passport, Wah Wah Watson, and many more.
More recently, Jojo has been venturing into New York's Techno / Multimedia / Avantgarde / club scene by promoting his own weekly party event called PROHIBITED BEATZ. This new platform for live "Drum n" Bass", "Nu-Skool Breaks", "Speed Garage" and the latest stylistical hybrids and mutations in DJ culture, has also provided the back drop for his first solo project called NERVE. Described as an "endeavor in reverse engineering the textures and rhythms of the current stream of computer generated music into a live performed, improvisational format", NERVE and PROHIBITED BEATZ have created a reputation in the New York scene that already goes way beyond "a serious buzz".
Jeremy Branson joined the Pittsburgh Symphony in September of 2008.
Prior to his appointment in Pittsburgh, Jeremy was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida and also played regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
A native of Austin, Texas, Mr. Branson earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Texas State University. Jeremy then moved to Philadelphia to study at Temple University in Philadelphia where he earned his Masters of Music degree in 2005. Mr. Branson also enjoys teaching as a percussion faculty member at Duquesne University.
Dr. GIFFORD HOWARTH has presented clinics and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. He has presented at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, dozens of MENC All-State Conferences, several PAS Day of Percussion events, and at different Universities throughout the world. The focus for most of his sessions are geared around percussion education. He is known as a mallet percussion specialist with a method book published through Tap Space Publications (tapspace.com), a series of signature marimba mallets through the Vic Firth Company (vicfirth.com) and several solo mallet arrangements.
Dr. Howarth recently received his DMA degree from Michigan State University, in East Lansing, MI. His Bachelors degree is from Ithaca College, his Masters is from Kent State University, and as a percussionists he had the privilege to study with Gordon Stout, Ted Rounds, and Bill Molenof.
Currently Dr. Howarth is Assistant Professor of Music at Bloomsburg University located in Bloomsburg, PA. He is also an Instructor of Percusssion at Penn State University in State College, PA. His previous teaching duties included teaching at Michigan State University and Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.
Dr. Howarth is a National Yamaha Performing Artist, a Signature Artist for the Vic Firth Company, and a clinician for the Zildjian Cymbal Company and Evans Drumheads
Rafael Pereira, nickname “Rafa”, grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. Inspired by the contagious sounds of street rhythms , parades and outdoor concerts, he began studying drums and percussion at the age of 12. In Brazil, he had the opportunity to attend workshops with acclaimed percussionists such as Airto Moreira, Nana Vasconcelos, Guello, Marcos Suzano and Alex Acuna among others. His music is a fusion of traditional styles of Samba, Choro, Frevo, Maracatu, Baião and various styles of contemporary music.
As a teenager, Rafa co-founded and directed a samba ensemble, composing music and booking performances. After graduating from high school in 2002, he relocated to Atlanta and began widening his studies in World Music. Since then he has performed with several local artists, including Brazilian/Latin Jazz guitarist Sasha Lisnichuk. Rafa has produced and co-produced 6 albums, including 2 albums of the 7 string guitarist Sasha Lisnichuk, Rua 6 Brazilian Band, The New Aiye Project, a Brazilian Acoustic Jazz, the Latin Pop artist Willie Ziavino, and the Brazilian Samba Artist Guilherme Lacerda.
Endorsed by Pearl Percussion since 2005, that same year Rafa was invited to lead a workshop on Brazilian Percussion at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), in Columbus, Ohio, one of the most prestigious percussion conventions in the world. He has also organized a Brazilian “Batucada” group at Georgia State University and directed them at the Rialto Center of Performing Arts, in Atlanta. He currently plays with RUA 6 Band, voted the best Latin Band in the Atlanta area by USA Today.
He was invited again to host a workshop on Samba and “Batucada” at PASIC percussion convention, as well as teaching percussion workshops around the southeast area such as the Sonny Emory Summer Camp, Jason Currin Festival, and the Contemporary Drums and Percussion Camp. He is also busy organizing his “Batucada” group called Bratuke, playing in the Sonny Emory State of the Art Band, and he is on the process of recording his own solo CD , and producing instructional percussion videos.
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