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The World Percussion Group

Assembling the world’s elite

Artistic Director: Tim Palmer (Maraca2 Percussion Duo)

Selected Artists

WPG 2024 UK & Baltic Artists:




Dániel Janca - (Soloist) - Hungary


Dániel Janca is a multifaceted percussionist and drummer. His solo concert programs range from adaptations of Baroque music to choreographed body-percussion and improvised electroacoustic music with live visualization. Dániel’s electroacoustic project is SUPERSONIC, marked by his creative, out-of-the-box approach to designing music events. As a soloist, he recently performed at the 2023 Taiwan International Percussion Convention (TIPC) and at the House of Music in Budapest, featuring a post-concert presentation. Dániel performs percussion concertos and records contemporary pieces as well. An avid collaborator, he established a duo with flutist Rebeka Drahos, co-founded Quantum percussion group in Budapest, and is a frequent guest artist with other chamber groups and ensembles.

In addition to performance, Dániel is composing, teaching and conducting doctoral research. His research topic at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest is „Adaptations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music for percussion, considering Bach’s own adaptations“.

Dániel formally studied percussion for over 15 years and jazz drum for over 4 years. This includes percussion performance and pedagogy degrees at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, as well as numerous masterclasses worldwide, highlighted by Northwestern University’s Percussion Symposium in Evanston, Illinois, and the Croatia Drum Camp.

Both as a soloist and in partnerships, the music Dániel is involved in is often characterized as innovative and experimental, either for its structure, instrumentation, acoustics, extended techniques, or possibly even a symbiosis with other art forms. Being well-versed in contemporary genres, new music and enhancing his literacy in early music serves Dániel’s dual pursuit of pioneering and nourishing traditions.





Michael Lee-Smith (Soloist) - USA


Michael Lee-Smith is a contemporary percussionist currently based in Rochester, New York, and specializes in contemporary solo and chamber percussion repertoire. Michael is a first-year Masters student at the Eastman School of Music, currently pursuing a degree in Percussion Performance and Literature and studying with professor Michael Burritt. He is a performing member of the Eastman Percussion Ensemble and coaches Eastman’s Chamber Percussion Ensemble. Michael recently performed with the EPE at the 2023 7th IPEA International Percussion Competition, and performed on multiple national and world premieres alongside distinguished guest Michael Burritt.

Michael has seen competitive success on both the national and international stage, most recently winning First Prize at the 2023 Great Plains International Marimba Competition in the Collegiate Solo division, and First Prize in the 2023 Percussion Conservatory Scholarship Competition. Previously, Michael won First prize at the 2022 Modern Snare Drum Competition held in Cleveland, Ohio, and Second Prize at the 2023 Cortona Contemporary Solo Competition held in Cortona, Italy. Michael also competed in the 2022 World Marimba Competition held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Michael co-founded the award-winning ensemble Blacktop Percussion in the winter of 2022 in Austin, Texas, and recently undertook a full performance of Andy Akiho’s evening length suite entitled “Seven Pillars,” an 11 movement, 80 minute work. The ensemble found competitive success at the 2023 Coltman Chamber Music Competition, where they were awarded Second Prize in the Senior Mixed Instrumental category performing selections from Seven Pillars alongside the music of Viet Cuong.

Michael is committed to pushing the boundaries of contemporary solo and chamber percussion, developing fluency in all facets of classical and ensemble percussion repertoire, and finding competitive solo success on the national and international stages. He is also interested in teaching both individual and group musicianship to students looking to better themselves as percussionists, and is interested in pursuing a career in collegiate education in the future. Michael also pursues sound design, percussion arrangements, and programmatic composition in his free time.




Austin Keck - (Composer-in-residence winner) - USA


Austin Keck is an accomplished American percussionist and composer based in Rochester, NY, specializing in contemporary solo and chamber music. With a deep passion for pushing the boundaries of classical percussion, Austin's musical journey has been marked by notable achievements and a commitment to innovation.

As a dedicated performer, Keck has had the privilege of performing worldwide. He has been invited to perform as a soloist in esteemed events, including the IPEA International Percussion Competition 2023, as well as the Music for All Summer Symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the National Percussion Festival, both held in Indianapolis.

Keck’s creative spirit extends to his role as a composer, where he strives to expand the horizons of classical percussion and explore the integration of electronic elements into his works. In November 2022, his groundbreaking composition, Passage to an Uncharted World, premiered at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, performed by the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. Similarly, his recent composition, Evanescence, commissioned by 3D Percussion, made its debut in October 2023 at the IPEA International Percussion Competition in Shanghai, China. Additionally, Keck’s composition Reversion, commissioned by pax duo, was first performed at Indiana Wesleyan University in November 2022, highlighting his commitment to contemporary musical expression.

Austin Keck's journey in the world of music has been marked by several accolades, including first prizes at the Great Plains International Marimba Competition in 2019 and 2016, and the top spot in the 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition. He also holds the esteemed Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Beyond his classical pursuits, Keck has contributed his talents to the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, earning recognition in the form of two Fred Sanford percussion caption awards and winning gold and silver medals at the Drum Corps International World Championships in 2017 and 2018.

Keck earned his Bachelor of Music with a minor in Audio and Music Engineering from the prestigious Eastman School of Music and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Contemporary Media and Film Composition at the same institution. His aspiration is to bridge the worlds of concert music and visual compositions through his work.

Austin Keck is a Malletech Performing Artist.




Andrew Naughton - USA


Andrew Naughton is a percussionist based in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Much of his focus is spent on contemporary percussion music. He is a classically trained percussionist and obtained his B.A. in Music Performance (2018) and M.A. in Music Education (2021) degrees from Adams State University in Colorado. He is currently studying percussion performance as a D.M.A. student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas studying under Timothy Jones, Dean Gronemeier, and Alex Stopa.

Throughout Andrew’s studies, he has been prepared to be a well-rounded percussionist with experience learning, performing, and teaching western and world music. In 2018, Andrew studied world music with a particular focus on the congas. Performing with the Adams State University percussion studio at the annual Colorado Music Educators Association conference at the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The performance was a presentation on the history and music of the Americas, the project titled, “Music of the Americas Project,” under the direction of Dr. James W. Doyle III. He was also frequently involved in the Adams State percussion ensemble, steel band, samba band, wind ensemble group, orchestra, and chamber choir.

At UNLV Andrew has been involved with many ensembles in and outside of the school. He is currently performing as principal timpanist of the Grammy-nominated UNLV Wind Orchestra under the direction of Thomas G. Leslie. Andrew is involved with the percussion ensemble, has performed with the UNLV new music performance group named Nextet, has performed at many hotels along the Las Vegas strip, and has performed with the Southern Nevada Chamber Orchestra, and is involved with the Spring 2023 UNLV Opera production of, “The Turn of the Screw,” by Benjamin Britten. Andrew’s most notable involvement was recording an album with the UNLV Wind Orchestra featuring jazz greats, Bernie Dresel, Mitchel Forman, Eric Marienthal, and John Patitucci.

Andrew is thrilled to be returning with WPG in 2024. He had the opportunity to travel with the WPG 2023 live tour throughout Spain where he had the privilege to perform and give clinics on world percussion. The World Percussion Group offers a rare experience you seldom get from joining other percussion specific groups, this is the experience of traveling across multiple countries performing with a large percussion ensemble made up of like-minded musicians determined to produce excellent sounds. The camaraderie gained from traveling and performing music with these other percussionists is unmatched and helps motivate Andrew to continue practicing and performing percussion.





Cassandra Lo - USA


Cass Lo is a percussionist currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at the Eastman School of Music, specializing in percussion performance and music education. They have had the privilege of studying with members of the Ju Percussion Group and are currently in Michael Burritt's percussion studio at Eastman. 

A devoted enthusiast of chamber music, Cass has performed with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble, the Mostly Modern Ensemble, and the OSSIA New Music Ensemble. Over the past few years, Cass has actively participated in events such as the Mostly Modern Festival, soundSCAPE, Ju Percussion International Summer Festival, and Tócalo Tucson Summer Chamber Seminar. 

In addition to their musical pursuits, Cass serves as the historian for the student-run organization OSSIA New Music from 2023 to 2024. Since 2023, Cass has also been a member of the Kou Duo alongside Daniel Davis, achieving success by winning the Southern California Marimba Competition in 2023.




Miranda Hughes - USA


Miranda Hughes is an active percussion soloist, chamber musician, and educator specializing in classical and contemporary genres. Based in northern Florida, she has recently appeared with the award-winning Florida State Percussion Ensemble, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and Tallahassee Community Chorus.

In the last year, Miranda received first prize in the Virginia Tech Soloist Competition and was a semi-finalist in the Great Plains International Marimba Competition. She was also the winner of three categories in the 2023 Virginia/D.C. Percussive Arts Society Percussion Solo Competition – Keyboard, Timpani, and Multiple Percussion, and performed at the 2023 PASIC IPEC Winners Showcase and National Tour as a member of the FSU Percussion Ensemble. Additionally, she received third prize at the PASIC Concert Chamber Percussion Ensemble Competition with the Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble in 2021 and was awarded second prize in The Green Vibes Project Solo Vibraphone Competition in 2020.

Miranda is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in percussion performance from Florida State University, under the instruction of Dr. John Parks IV, and currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in percussion performance from Virginia Tech with Dr. Annie Stevens.





Rachel Richards - USA


Rachel Richards is a percussionist currently in her first year of master's studies at the University of Michigan, where she studies with professors Douglas Perkins and Ian Antonio. Rachel earned her bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with professor Michael Burritt. At Eastman, Rachel served as a board member of OSSIA New Music, a student-run organization dedicated to showcasing the works of contemporary composers. She was also a recipient of Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program Certificate.

Rachel's vision for her career is one of global exploration and artistic innovation. She aspires to captivate audiences worldwide as both a soloist and chamber musician, while pushing the boundaries of percussion repertoire through commissioned works that showcase the virtuosic potential of percussionists. Rachel's journey is driven by a profound desire to contribute her unique voice to the ever-changing world of classical contemporary music.



Ruyi Yuan - China


Ruyi Yuan, a percussionist from Suzhou, China. Her musical journey began at the age of 4 when she first played the piano, and by the age of 10, she discovered her true passion for percussion, setting the stage for her future in music. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Michael Burritt. She previously studied with Kieth Aleo at Interlochen Arts Academy, achieving success by winning the 2019 Interlochen Concerto Competition.

Ruyi had the privilege being a member of the Interlochen Wind Ensemble and performing at the New World Center during the 2020 Interlochen Miami tour. Before Interlochen, Ruyi attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and studied with Gao Hua. Over the past few years, Ruyi has attended the Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar, Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, and So Percussion Seminar.





Seth Tupy - USA


Seth Tupy is currently in the middle of his Junior at the Eastman School of Music studying percussion performance and music education. He studies with Mark Hodges, Chip Ross, Rich Thompson, and Professor Michael Burritt. Seth also participates in many wind, orchestral, and percussion ensembles at Eastman, including the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Eastman Philharmonia, and the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. Seth has also participated in multiple summer programs, including two Drum Corps International Groups, Spirit of Atlanta in 2021 and Colts in 2022. In 2022, the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps placed 11th at Drum Corps International Finals. In 2023, Seth participated in the Chautauqua music festival where he played with the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra as well as the Chautauqua Percussion Ensemble.




Olly Bangia - USA


Olly Bangia is a 21 year old percussionist currently studying at the Eastman School of Music. Olly has studied percussion for 11 years, and has performed in concert halls around the world such as Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, and the Royal Concertgebouw. They have played with many ensembles including the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Percussion Ensemble, Chautauqua School of Music Festival Orchestra and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra for three summers. Olly currently studies with Michael Burritt at the Eastman School of Music.





Daniel Myers - USA


Daniel Myers is an active educator, arranger, and performer based in Columbia, SC.   Mr. Myers has been a featured performer alongside the Appalachian State University Percussion Ensemble at the North Carolina Day of Percussion, and with the Western Carolina University Wind Ensemble.  He has also performed with a number of orchestras throughout the Southeast including the Long Bay Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Aiken Symphony Orchestra, and Hilton Head Symphony Orchestras. 

An advocate for contributing to the repertoire, he has commissioned a number of works for both solo percussion and his marimba and saxophone duet - the Hutchens/Myers Duo.  Recent and upcoming collaborations include Robert Honstein, Andy Harnsberger, Jenni Watson, Samuel Peruzzolo-Vieira, and Akemi Naito. The Hutchens/Myers Duo have performed throughout the United States, and were a featured guest artist at the Cortona Sessions for New Music; furthermore, he was invited to participate in the inaugural Marimba Sessions in Cortona, Italy.  




Grayson Rushing - USA


Grayson Rushing, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is an American percussionist, educator, and composer currently residing in Oklahoma. Grayson is an active performer of contemporary chamber and solo percussion music. He has been involved with multiple recording projects, including the University of Kansas Wind Symphony and the University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony, as well as with clarinetist Dr. Hilary Leonard on her debut album, Conjuring the Neumenous, set to be released later this year. As a freelance musician, Grayson has performed with the Norman Philharmonic, Pauls Valley Sinfonietta, as well as the University of Oklahoma School of Musical Theater.

In addition to Grayson’s work as an orchestral percussionist, he has been a part of cutting-edge performances with Andy Akiho, So Percussion, Eriko Daimo, as well as the Prism Duo, which he founded with Tanner Brown. In 2021, Prism Duo was awarded first place in the duo division of the Great Plains International Marimba Competition. Grayson has also performed at various conferences, including the Percussion Arts Society International Conference and the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinet Fest

As an educator, Grayson is serving as a percussion instructor at Norman High School, as well as a front ensemble and drumline instructor for the Pride of Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma. While doing this work, Grayson maintains a private studio of several talented area percussionists. His student’s accomplishments include earning spots in region and state level ensembles, taking part in Drum Corp International, as well as receiving acceptance and scholarships to various music schools.

During his time with the Pride, Grayson has arranged percussion scores for multiple halftime shows in the 2022 and 2o23 seasons. Currently, he is finishing work on a suite of character pieces for solo marimba, inspired by the loyal companionship of his childhood pets.

Grayson earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, where he studied with Dr. Lance Drege, Dr. Andrew Richardson, and Dr. Ricardo Souza. Grayson earned his Master’s degree from the University of Kansas, where he studied with Dr. Michael Compitello. Currently, Grayson is in his second year of a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Oklahoma under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Richardson.





David Wang - USA


David Wang is an American percussionist and educator based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Michael Burritt and also earned the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. David has won first prizes at the 2020 China International Percussion Online Competition in both Marimba Solo and Snare Drum Solo divisions. David was also selected as a percussion winner of the 2023 Yamaha Young Performing Artists and was invited to perform in the winner’s concert in June of that year. He participated in the 2021 Chautauqua Summer Music Festival and in the following year, was a front ensemble member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 2022. David is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance where he is a graduate instructor of percussion.




Louis Raymond-Kolker - USA


Louis Raymond-Kolker (b. 1995) is a composer and percussionist from Austin, Texas. He teaches percussion, composition, and music theory at High Point University.

Louis actively works to facilitate the creation and performance of new music, and foster connections between composers, performers, and audiences. His compositions blend a sense of sentimentality, vivid imagery, and treating silly things seriously (and vice versa). As a performer, Louis specializes on steelpan, the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, and regularly premieres new works for instruments in the steelpan family.

Louis is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Texas A&M-Commerce. Most recently, he studied as part of the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s APA Pan Fellowship. Louis is a member of the Dream Educators Collective and the Black Swamp Percussion Educator Network. His compositions are published through C. Alan Publications and Boxfish Music Publishing.





Daniel Davis - USA


Daniel Davis is a undergraduate percussionist at the Eastman School of Music, currently studying with Michael Burritt.

As a percussionist, Daniel has performed with multiple groups, such as the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Percussion Ensemble, Empire Film and Music Ensemble, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and the Brevard Sinfonia.

Daniel is also a member of the Kou Duo alongside Cass Lo, achieving success by winning the Southern California Marimba Competition in 2023



Elias Gustavsson - Sweden


Elias Gustafsson is known as one of Sweden's most gifted young percussionists by his colleagues. He has a passion for introducing new audiences and venues to music and live performances and inspiring people to engage more in music. On stage, his quite theatrical style appeals to both new and seasoned music enthusiasts, drawing them in and fully entrancing them with the music. Elias has been a semifinalist in Solispriset, Universal Marimba Competition, and Southern California Marimba Competition, and a consistently high-ranking recipient of Kungliga Musikaliska Akademins Scholarships. He also won the Italy Pas Web Contest 2020 and in 2022/23 he received the Yamaha Scholarship Award.

"I play music to make the world a more compassionate place," Elias says. "Because I believe that the true power of music is the chance to cooperate with others to create something larger than ourselves, for others."

Elias strives to accomplish this goal by performing new music and blending theatre with music. He believes that the chamber music of the future needs to explore more media and appeal to more senses to continue growing as an art form. Elias has given over 30 premier performances with various groups, and in 2024, he plans to expand his activities with Interactive Concerts. This format allows the audience to be a part of the concert, explore the music together, and learn to more profoundly appreciate it.

Elias has studied for Daniel Berg, Anders Åstrand, Johan Bridger, Fredrik Duvling, Joakim Anterot, Heigo Roisin, Vambola Krigul, Søren Monrad, Niklas Larsson, and Paul Goobar. He has been educated at Örebro Universitet, Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, Syddansk Musikkonservatoriet, Estonian Academy of Music, and Ljungskile Folkhögskola.

During countless summers throughout his career, Elias has organized concert tours in Sweden with many different groups and constellations. He has also performed with amongst others; Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Härlanda Kammarkör, the Royal Swedish Navy Cadet Band, Candle Lights, the Estonian National Opera, and Nordic Symphony Orchestra.





Nathaniel Holman - USA


Nathaniel, a Miami based percussionist, is an active performer having been a featured soloist with the Fox Valley Concert Band and at the Illinois Day of Percussion, professionally premiered new solo and ensemble works, collaborated on several tours with Heartland Marimba, and performed internationally in 2024 with the World Percussion Group. Along with his extensive list of ensemble and chamber experience, Nathaniel was also a finalist in the 2021 International Bamburg Marimba Competition and received 2nd in the Southern California Marimba competition. Outside of performance, he has a passion for pedagogy having taught privately and run several high school percussion programs out of the Chicagoland area. His students regularly place in All-State band with the addition of the Summer Juilliard Percussion Seminar and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Nathaniel currently teaches at the Southern Florida Center for Percussive Arts and is pursuing a DMA at the Frost School of Music. He proudly endorses Marimba One products. 




Dennis Arce - Costa Rica


Dennis Arce is a Costa Rican percussionist with more than 10 years of experience. Along his career he has been a guest percussionist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Symphony Orchestra of the University of Costa Rica and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia where he is currently working and with whom he has recorded several albums and premiered lots of works from contemporary composers, getting multiple Latin Grammy nominations.

In 2011 and 2015 he won the “Youth Soloists” prize from the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, which allowed him to have his debut as a soloist with this Orchestra. In 2017 he appeared as a soloist with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, conducted by Irwin Hoffman on their tour through Central America. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia, premiering works by Latin American composers. In October, 2024, he will perform as a soloist for the first time in Mexico, with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, premiering another marimba concerto from a Costa Rican composer.

Along the years, he has received private lessons with Katarzyna Mycka, Jean Geoffroy, Svet Stoyanov, Pedro Carneiro, Marta Klimasara, Ludwig Albert, Juan David Forero, Olaf Tzschoppe and Andreas Boettger. Dennis has premiered more than 50 works from contemporary composers, most of them Latin American, some of them for solo Marimba or Percussion. He is currently faculty member and head of the percussion department at the National Institute of Music in Costa Rica since 2018.




Ryan Bond - USA


Ryan Bond is a percussionist who is completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) under the mentorship of Dr. Dean Gronemeier, Dr. Timothy Jones, Dr. Alex Stopa, and Gary Cook. He currently teaches at UNLV as the Coordinator for History of Rock and as an instructor of percussion. Prior to completing a Master of Music degree at UNLV, he completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, with an emphasis in commercial music.

Bond has performed and given clinics in Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii, and internationally in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Mexico, England, Spain, and Portugal. He has also performed with Las Vegas Percussion Collective, Opera Las Vegas, Vegas City Opera, Southern Nevada Chamber Orchestra, the World Percussion Group, and the Grammy-nominated UNLV Wind Orchestra, serving as principal percussionist under the direction of Thomas G. Leslie. Notable artists he has worked alongside include John Patitucci, Eric Marienthal, and Bernie Dressel. Bond is a member of the PAS Health and Wellness Committee and is the Nevada PAS chapter Treasurer.

He has been published multiple times in Percussive Notes, Rhythm! Scene, Not So Modern Drummer, and more.

Bond actively gives clinics, instructs camps, adjudicates, and maintains a private studio, and he works as a percussion specialist with the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras and the Clark County School District. Bond Proudly Endorses Majestic Percussion, Sabian, and Black Swamp Percussion.