(If you are interested in browsing my upcoming or recent past events, please click here.)

May 2012

March 2012

Ethos at Vassar

Ethos will be featured on Vassar’s concert series on Friday, March 23 in a program featuring many works written for the group.

February 2012

Back to Teaching

I’m very happy to be back in full swing at Vassar, and I’m also beginning to serve as artist-in-residence (through Young Audiences New York) at PS110K in Brooklyn.  I’ll be creating a percussion ensemble from their first grade classes!

January 2012

Trust me, I’m a doctor...

On January 13 I deposited my dissertation, thereby fulfilling all of the CUNY DMA degree requirements.  I am officially a doctor and done with school.  It took over 8 years, and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now. 

December 2011

Playing Defense

On December 16 I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation (titled Hairy Drums, Live Sampling: Ethos Percussion Group Commissions of 2004 and Their “Extra-Conservatory” Elements).  My committee couldn’t have been more supportive, and I’m very grateful to each of them: Jonathan Pieslak, Shaugn O’Donnell, Stephen Blum, and Norman Carey.

October - November 2011

When it rains...

I was thrilled and honored to be asked to do two workshops for new musicals.  The first, called Artaria, was written by Raven Kane and David Campbell.  It was a great experience and a wonderful creative team.  The second is called Beauty, and it was written by Regina Spektor, Michael Korie, and Tina LandauDavid Kahne is also involved, as is Kimberly Grigsby (one of my favorite Broadway people).  This is a very special show.

September 2011


In addition to starting up at Vassar for the fall (I’m officially a contracted faculty member now), I filmed an episode of an upcoming TV series for NBC called Smash.  Michael Mayer is the series’ director, and it was ridiculously fun (and ridiculously early in the morning).  I think it will air in February.

August 2011

Slow Summer = Writing Time

Just spending time with my family, doing a few Spider-Man shows, and working 6-8 hours a day on my dissertation.

July 2011


I began subbing for the great John Clancy at Spider-Man on Broadway.  It is a super fun book and an incredible band to play with.

June 2011

Farewell to Stephen

On June 12 I played timpani for Stephen Hamilton’s final service at Holy Trinity church.  He hired me for my first freelance gig in NYC back in 1991, when I was a student at Manhattan School of Music.  I played Holy Trinity’s Easter service that year and every year without fail for the next 20 years.  Thank you, Stephen!

May 2011

New Management for Ethos

Ethos is thrilled to join the roster of MCM Arts and Entertainment.

April 2011

Idiot Closes

After an amazing year on Broadway (and 4 months in Berkeley before that), American Idiot had its last performance on Broadway on April 24.  Followed immediately by a live show by Green Day on the St. James stage.  The experience ended as it started: ridiculously fun.  Now for some family dinners and rest for my legs.

March 2011

Ethos @ Symphony Space

Great concert (and great turnout) for Ethos at Symphony Space on March 4.  I’m very lucky to be able to play such fun music with my friends.

February 2011

Grammy Win for Idiot

American Idiot won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.  This is the second Grammy Award-winning record that I’ve played on! (Full disclosure: I only played a little bit on the album; Tre Cool did all of the heavy lifting!)

Teaching at Queens College, Vassar

I’m teaching the percussion methods class for music education majors at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.  Also back at Vassar for my second semester of private lesson teaching.

Billie is Back!

Bllie Joe Armstrong has been back with the Idiots for a few weeks.  It is truly inspiring and an honor to share the stage with him.

January 2011

Ethos is Back!

Starting rehearsals with new member (and old friend) Michael Lipsey.  It is great to be playing with the group again--it’s been almost a year.  Looking forward to the first performance with the new line-up in March.

November 2010

Final DMA Recital

I performed my final DMA recital on Monday the 22nd.  The program featured music by my friend David Cossin as well as the two Ethos commissions upon which my dissertation is based.  Members of the Queens College Percussion Ensemble joined me for the quartets, and I couldn’t be happier with how the performance went.  Now all I have to do is finish the darn paper.

October 2010

Billie Joe Joins The Cast

Billie Joe Freakin’ Armstrong joined the cast for one week as St. Jimmy.  I’ve never played such an adrenaline-filled room.  Thank goodness the show has a click tack...

September 2010

More Idiot Appearances

Lots of fun was had by all as we performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and America’s Got Talent (!).

August 2010

Vassar College Appointment

I am extremely happy to be helping out my friend Frank Cassara as an Adjunct Artist in Music at Vassar College.  The campus is beautiful and the students are great.

AOL Sessions

American Idiot recorded 6 songs for the AOL Sessions series.  Check them out here.

June 2010

Idiot Wins 2 TONY Awards

Sincere congrats to Christine Jones (scenic design) and Kevin Adams (lighting design) on their TONY awards!

April 2010

Idiot Is Open!

NY Times review is here. After the show it was a great (and rare) night out with my wonderful wife.

Letterman Performance

The Idiot cast performed on Late Night with David Letterman.  I’m not on camera, but I’m playing with the rest of the show’s band in the cold, cold Ed Sullivan Theater.  Video is here.

February 2010

Idiot Website Is Up

Check out the show’s website here.  It features some footage of the Berkeley production (along with live music from the show) as well as clips of the cast performing with Green Day during the 2010 Grammy Awards broadcast.  (I didn’t play for that--they had the real Tre on drums!)   Congrats to Green Day for their Rock Album of the Year Grammy!

Istanbul News

One of the challenges with American Idiot is that I am kind of in the middle of the stage with no sound baffling around me, yet I can’t hold back any energy.  Tre Cool had the brilliant idea to try Istanbul cymbals, and their mellow, buttery texture worked perfectly.   Thanks to Tre and Mike Fasano, I am now on the Istanbul endorser roster.

Ethos in NYC

Ethos shared a very fun concert at the Players Theatre with our friends in the Cadillac Moon Ensemble on January 13.  Included in the performance was the world premiere of our 27th commission, “North South East West” by Caroline Mallonée.

January 2010

Idiot is coming to town!

We open on Broadway in April, with previews starting in March.  I can’t wait to see my Idiot family again!

Istanbul News

One of the challenges with American Idiot is that I am kind of in the middle of the stage with no sound baffling around me, yet I can’t hold back any energy.  Tre Cool had the brilliant idea to try Istanbul cymbals, and their mellow, buttery texture worked perfectly.   Thanks to Tre and Mike Fasano, I am now on the Istanbul endorser roster.

Ethos in NYC

Ethos shared a very fun concert at the Players Theatre with our friends in the Cadillac Moon Ensemble on January 13.  Included in the performance was the world premiere of our 27th commission, “North South East West” by Caroline Mallonée.

December 2009

Goodbye, Berkeley

After two extensions and a full run of packed houses, AI ended at Berkeley Rep on November 15.  Hopefully it will start up again soon, this time closer to home...

Back to Ethos

I got a warm welcome back to the world of non-punk music by flying straight from Berkeley to play with Ethos in Erie, PA.  After another Ethos gig in upstate NY I was finally reunited with my family.  I can’t believe I was gone for four months!

October 2009

American Idiot continues...

Opening night went very well, and the reviews were generally very good; the NY Times liked it, as did several others, but the music critic from the San Jose Mercury News HATED it (no link because it’s subscription only).  I still can’t believe I get paid for this.

Dissertation continues...

Thanks to a great deal of help from my advisor (the amazing Jon Pieslak) I have completed the score for Gaby Kerpel’s Charangueando, and Michael Markus’s Suli Ti Nani isn’t far behind.  Having time for this is the one good thing about not seeing Romy and Lisa.

August 2009

American Idiot in Previews

The last six weeks have flown by and we are entering our first full week of previews at Berkeley Rep.  Green Day has been extremely supportive and generous, even going so far as to loan the band the guitars and amps they use for their tours as well as a one-of-a-kind Leedy drum kit.  I miss my wife and daughter terribly, but the show is more fun than I could have hoped.

Pro-Mark News

While playing Spring Awakening I discovered the oak sticks by Pro-Mark.  I love the extra density and have been using the 5B model for a couple of years in shows and with Ethos.  I am now happy to officially join the Pro-Mark endorser roster.  The timing couldn’t be better, because I’m going through a lot of sticks with American Idiot!

LOC Video

I finally had a chance to edit the video footage from Ethos’ performance at the Library of Congress.  Check it out here; there’s a particularly good clip of me getting seriously schooled by M’Bemba Bangoura...

June 2009

Gonna be an American Idiot

I am very happy to start working with Michael Mayer, Ira Pittleman and Tom Hulce from Spring Awakening once again, this time as they collaborate with Green Day for a staged version of the amazing American Idiot album.  The world premiere will be at Berkeley Rep in California from September 4 through October 11.  Read more about it here and here.

May 2009

Ethos CD Review from Percussive Notes

Another nice review, this one from the official publication of the Percussive Arts Society.  If you’re a member, read it here.

Ethos Publishing Project

We are very excited to finally have some of our commissions available to other ensembles!  Even better, they will be published through Bachovich Music, a really great source for contemporary literature.  We hope to release the first pieces in November (at PASIC); stay tuned for details.

Ethos at the Library of Congress

This was just too fun--we performed with M’Bemba Bangoura and Bernard Woma.  The audience was literally dancing on stage with us at the end.  I tried my best to not look too foolish playing djembe next to M’Bemba, but at the end of the day I’m still a white guy from East Texas (and to add injury to insult, I couldn’t put my wedding ring back on for two days).  Look for footage on the video page at some point...

April 2009

Ethos wraps up its NYC season at Players’ Theatre

We’re actually only doing one show (on the 15th); the other one is indefinitely postponed because Yousif is having a baby!!!  Two cool premieres and some Xenakis.  Details here.

My recording hobby leaves the basement

I had a lot of fun engineering, mixing and mastering some quick projects for the Lark Quartet and Literally Alive Children’s Theatre.

March 2009

Ethos CD Review from Sequenza 21

A very positive review of the latest Ethos CD from the contemporary music community site.  Read it here.

Joe’s Pub Show w/Morgan Karr on March 24

I get to play with some of my Spring Awakening friends in a couple of weeks!  Some details can be found here.

February 2009

Dissertation Progress

I think I have cleared the final hurdle in having my dissertation proposal officially approved (that would be IRB approval for those of you in academia).  I have some interviews scheduled and it’s nice to be able to really dig in.  The paper will focus on two recent Ethos commissions and their non-Western and popular music influences.

Levitan Inventions CD

All of the tracks are recorded and mixed.  We are mastering in mid-February, and I think it should be ready to ship in late March.  Check out the sample on the audio page...

January 2009

Ethos featured on WNYC’s New Sounds

John Schaefer threw us a bone.  Check it out here.

Spring Awakening Closes

After an amazing and very unexpected 2-year run on Broadway, Spring Awakening closed on January 18th.  It was a fantastic experience (and a great gig), but having evenings and weekends home with Lisa and Romy is pretty awesome...