Josh Graham

"I have gotten to play on many different instruments, and nothing really compares to Marimba One. The depth of sound, color, and dynamic range are second to none. Whenever I travel and play something else, I am consistently amazed when I come back to my instrument and I feel so at home."

Born in Canada and raised in Michigan, Josh Graham is a percussionist based in Chicago, Illinois. He has explored the many avenues of his instrument, performing in orchestral, jazz, chamber, popular and world music settings.

Josh's heart truly lies in the realm of contemporary music, and he has had the the pleasure of performing new works throughout the United States and Canada. He has worked with composers Stephan Hartke, John Luther Adams, David Lang, Sydney Hodkinson, Steven Stucky, Lera Auerbach and David Hollinden, among others. Upcoming premieres include a vibraphone solo by Thomas Kotcheff, a work for marimba and english horn by Aaron Holloway-Nahum for Josh and his wife, Kristina, and works for F-PLUS by Timo Andres, Dylan Mattingly, Anna Meadors, Nathan Hudson and D. Edward Davis.

As a soloist, Josh has performed with the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the BCE Vocal Ensemble, at the International Computer Music Conference, Society of Composers, Inc. Conference, and at several Michigan Days of Percussion. Josh has performed with new music groups such as Ensemble Dal Niente, the Half Stick Duo, To Hit, Listen! Percussion, as well as with members of eighth blackbird and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Currently, Josh is one-third of the group F-PLUS with violinist Kate Dreyfuss and clarinetist Andy Hudson. The group has premiered works by Theresa Martin and Roger Zare, and is making their Chicago debut in January with a world premiere by Sleeping Giants composer Timo Andres, also performing works by Pulitzer-Prize winner Kevin Puts and others. He is also the percussionist with the  Zafa Collective, a Chicago-based group focused on performing works by women and composers of color.

Josh has been a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, and spent two summers as the percussionist with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, on a full fellowship as part of the Aspen Music Festival and School. In 2014, Josh performed as a soloist with the group on Steve Mackey's "Micro-Concerto" for percussion.

Also a dedicated educator, Josh has taught a variety of settings at varying levels. He was the director of the percussion ensemble at Stevenson High School in Livonia, Michigan as well as the percussion instructor at Discover Middle School in Plymouth Michigan, for two years. He was formerly on the faculty of the Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts, and in the summers is percussion faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan. He has taught courses at both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, and his private students have been accepted at college music programs including Northwestern, Michigan, Central Michigan, Depauw, and other schools. 

Josh currently is on faculty with Sistema Ravinia, where he teaches percussion in Waukegan Public Schools, and is also the percussion instructor at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. He currently performs with F-PLUS, the Zafa Collective, and regularly collaborates with groups in Chicago such as Ensemble Dal Niente. Josh holds a Master's degree from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University, and did additional study at Northwestern University. His primary teachers include Joseph Gramley, Jonathan Ovalle, Ian Ding, and Andrew Spencer. Josh is proud to endorse Marimba One instruments, as well as Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets.