Michael Jones is a percussionist and conductor based in Southern California. His work focuses on championing new pieces of the 21st century as well as works from the 20th century avant-garde. He is particularly interested in time, memory, perception, and the lyricism of embodied performance. Composers he has worked closely with include David Macbride, Kevin Good, Pluto Bell, and Matt Sargent among others. He has performed at the LA Philharmonic’s Noon-to-Midnight Festival, The Ojai Music Festival, The Other Minds Festival, Monday Evening Concerts, The Dog Star Orchestra Festival, and the Hartford New Music Festival.
Photo by Tiange Zhou
He’s completed residencies at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Alberta), The Nief Norf Summer Festival (Tennessee), and others. He’s appeared in the past as a member of the Hartford New Music Collective, the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, the Other Minds Ensemble, the William Winant Percussion Group, Empyrean Ensemble, and ECHOI Ensemble. He regularly performs with red fish blue fish, the graduate percussion ensemble at the University of Calfornia, San Diego. He directs its undergraduate counterpart, one fish two fish, and in 2021 became director and conductor of the UCSD Wind Ensemble.
As a performer and researcher of non-Western music, Michael has performed percussion music from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, West Africa, and Iran, studying with Rogerio Boccato, John Amira, Joe Galeota, Shane Shanahan, and Keyavash Nourai. In 2013 he completed study in Ghana at the Dagara Music Center (Medie) and the Dagbe Cultural Center (Kopeyia) where he studied Dagara, Ewe, Asante, and Dagomba music.
Michael received Bachelor’s degrees in both Performance and Music Management from The Hartt School / University of Hartford where he studied with Benjamin Toth. He is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego under the guidance of Steven Schick. He endorses Marimba One vibraphones and marimbas.