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Jonathan Ovalle
University of Michigan - United States

Overview

Jonathan Ovalle is a percussionist whose concerts and collaborations feature an array of musical aesthetics. As a performer, he is a both a committed interpreter of contemporary art music as well as an inspired jazz/world percussionist and drummer. Equally comfortable in the concert hall, on the jazz stage, or improvising in a public space, he continually seeks to explore and engage the percussive art in every manner and shape possible. 

He has performed and presented masterclasses in North America and Asia, has been a featured artist at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and has served as a judge for the Thailand Drumline Competition. Most recently, he has participated in concerts and workshops at Baylor University, University of Tennessee, University of Tennessee - Martin, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Middle Tennessee State University, Queens College, Queensboro Community College, William Patterson University and has also been featured at the 2015 Ohio and Tennessee PAS Days of Percussion. 

Along with percussionist, Neeraj Mehta, he is currently one half of the chamber duo, PERCUNOVA. The duo gave its international concert debut in July 2014 at the Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, followed by a concert/clinic tour of India. The duo's current work is focused on concertizing and developing a body of new repertoire which stands at the nexus of contemporary chamber percussion music and Afro-Cuban percussion traditions. Ovalle has performed with the Sarasota Opera, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Brass Band of Battle Creek, New Music Detroit, and the Detroit Chamber Winds. As a drumset and world percussion artist, he has shared the stage with artists such as Jon Hendricks, Vic Juris, Roland Vazquez, Ann Hampton Callaway, David Hazeltine, Phil Markowitz, Harold Danko, Stephanie Nakassian, Gunnar Mossblad, Tim Whalen, and currently leads his own Afro-Cuban trio/quartet featuring him as a drummer and composer.

As a composer/arranger, his percussion arrangements for the production of Ballroom with a Twist, are currently receiving performances by symphony orchestras across the United States and Canada including: Kansas City Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic. His marching percussion experience includes previous success as both a front ensemble and battery arranger for Bands of America Grand National Championship and WGI finalist (scholastic & independent world class) ensembles. His concert percussion music is published by Tapspace Publications and Living Sound Triangles.  

He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance where he serves as a director of the University’s famed percussion ensemble, director of the Latin Jazz Ensemble and director of the MPulse Summer Percussion Institute, a two-week intensive for intermediate to advanced high school percussionists in grades 9-12. His research interests include: kinesiology/motor coordination - utilizing the body's natural physics to create greater efficiency and more depth of tone, snare drum performance and pedagogy as a vehicle to developing universal technique on all percussion instruments, as well as memory organization and learning processes and their role in effective practicing. A sought-after educator, he is inspired by the unique puzzle each student presents and finds motivation in helping them overcome both technical and mental roadblocks - unlocking each students' full potential. 

Born in Mexico City, he grew up in Houston, TX and is a graduate of the University of Michigan where his former teachers included: Michael Udow, Julie Spencer, Salvatore Rabbio, Gerald Cleaver, Michael Gould, as well as additional studies with vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker. 

He has previously served as the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Toledo and as the Director of Percussion at the Plymouth Canton Educational Park and is a proud artist/endorser with Pearl/Adams, Zildjian, Remo, and Innovative Percussion. 

Links

University of Michigan Percussion Studio

www.jonathanovalle.com

Equipment Configuration

Artist Classic 5.0 Octave Marimba

Artist Vibraphone

Philharmonic 5x14 Aluminum SD

Philharmonic 4x14 Aluminum SD

Philharmonic 4x13 Maple SD

MCX Maple Kit (20" BD, 14" Floor Tom, 10" Rack Tom)

Vision Birch Bop Kit (18" BD, 14" Floor Tom, 12" Rack Tom) 

900 Series Hardware