Percussionist Kenneth McGrath is a performer and educator in Los Angeles. For over 20 years, his musical versatility has been heard in concert halls around the world and on sound stages across Southern California. From performing with legendary artists Aretha Franklin to Pierre Boulez, in concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Royal Concertgebouw, playing Wicked, recording Le Sacre Du Printemps; Ken has contributed to all these and more.
With the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony and San Diego Symphony, Ken has toured Europe, Asia and North America. He also appears with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and serves as section percussionist with the New West Symphony. His contributions can be heard on numerous orchestral and chamber recordings including John Adam’s Naïve and Sentimental Music, Philip Glass’ The Passion Ramakrishna, and A John Williams Celebration/Los Angeles Philharmonic Gala Concert.
In Southern California’s rich contemporary music scene, Ken has played on dozens of world and US premieres and has been a regular guest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group performing at Lincoln Center, the Ojai Music Festival and the Green Umbrella Series. In 2008, he commissioned, premiered and recorded William Kraft’s Encounters XIII: Concertino for Percussion and Woodwind Quintet with Southwest Chamber Music.
Across the Southland, Ken regularly performs with dance troupes such as American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. He has also played on national touring productions of Motown: The Musical, Wicked, Curtains, The Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera. In the studio, Ken has contributed to motion picture soundtracks by composers John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and many others.
The broad scope of Ken’s professional experience defines his approach to music education. Currently he serves on the faculties of California State University Fullerton, Riverside City College and the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts. In addition, he maintains a private teaching studio with students ranging from 6-year-old beginners to post-graduates. Ken has conducted master classes and workshops at numerous schools and has been a soloist with the Cal State Fullerton and Southern Utah University percussion ensembles.
Ken holds percussion performance degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude, and the Eastman School of Music. He is an Educational Artist for Marimba One™.
"In the many music circles I travel, Marimba One™ is always with me. For my students, Marimba One™ mallets and instruments are the ones they will buy. It's the only marimba company I encourage and fully support, period. When I brought in my bars to be re-tuned, it was a real treat meeting Ron and the staff, being shown around the facilities, and seeing first-hand the craftsmanship and commitment to each instrument. I'm so impressed with everything Marimba One™ does. It will continue to be my choice for marimba and I will always share its wonderful sound to whatever audience is in front of me."